Tragedy Falls Upon Licking County Family Twice In 1 Year After Fatal Shooting


The Licking County Sheriff’s Office said a 23-year-old man told them he accidently shot and killed a 19 year old while he was handling a weapon on Saturday.

According to the sheriff’s office, a 23-year-old Hebron resident told officials he was handling a weapon when he accidently shot James Ballman at about 9 p.m.

The incident occurred in an apartment building near the Burning Tree Golf Course near Ridgely Tract Rd. SE.

The 23-year-old man admitted to drinking prior to picking up the weapon, sheriff’s officials said.

Sigrid Ballman, James’ grandmother, said that he purchased a .44 caliber handgun that he was eager to show off.

“He said, ‘I’m going to take my new gun to show it off to my friends,’” Sigrid Ballman said.

According to the sheriff’s office, other witnesses present at the time of the incident also said that the shooting was accidental.

The grandmother said that James was shot in the neck.

“I know (the 23-year-old man) is feeling really bad,” Sigrid Ballman said. “He passed out when it happened.”

A mother, who said her two sons were in the apartment when the shooting happened, said that she ran to the apartment and tried to perform CPR.

“There was blood coming out of his mouth,” said the mother, who 10TV News did not identify. “I knew that I lost him, but I kept trying until they made me stop.”

No charges were immediately filed, but the case was forwarded to the Licking County Prosecutor’s Office.

Six months ago, Ballman’s sister, Deanna Ballman, was found dead in the backseat of a car near New Albany. She was 9 months pregnant at the time of her death.

Though authorities ruled Ballman’s death as a heroin overdose, investigators said that the case remains under investigation.

Ballman’s grandmother confirmed that her granddaughter and James’ sister, Deanna Ballman, was the woman found dead on Aug. 1 after overdosing on heroin. Her death was ruled suspicious.

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February 2, 2013: 1 Killed In Shooting At Licking County Apartment Complex