The attacker who shot the convicted ex-doctor wanted him to die.
Six bullets were fired into Kevin B. Lake's body as he lay in bed in a first-floor bedroom in his posh, red-brick colonial just north of New Albany at 7:10 a.m. on June 22, 2017, according to investigators and the Franklin County coroner's autopsy.
One of the bullets struck Lake in the right temple and lodged in his brain. The other five bullets perforated his back, and two of them passed through his body, according to the autopsy report.
His 19-year-old son, Jonah Lake, called a 911 operator from a corner of a locked upstairs bedroom, telling her he had called out for his father several times. "I heard gunshots downstairs, and my dad is not responding."911 call
Lake didn't immediately die from the assault. He was pronounced dead the next evening at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.
Who pulled the trigger remains a mystery. Investigators believe that one person carried out the fatal attack.
"There is no mistaking" that the attacker had set out to kill Lake that morning in his house in the 7900 block of Schleppi Road in Plain Township, said Maj. Steve Tucker of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, who is heading the homicide case.
Lots of potential suspects
A number of people were angry with Lake in the days leading up to his death.
"There were a lot of people in his past who genuinely did not like him," Tucker said.
During about 12 minutes of recorded conversations with a 911 dispatcher, Jonah Lake revealed that he, his father and his mother were all carrying guns because of threats they had received. Jonah told the dispatcher that he had a knife and gun while he awaited responding officers.
On the surface, Kevin Lake, 51, had been living large as a wealthy osteopathic doctor. He held several positions of honor, including serving on Ohio University's board of trustees.
But it all came crashing down after federal investigators unraveled Lake's hidden source of wealth: a massive illegal prescription-painkiller operation run out of his Columbus Southern Medical Center in south Columbus. Among the people who had issues with Lake were addicts and survivors of those who had overdosed and died, Tucker said.
Last February, Lake agreed to plead guilty to drug, fraud and tax-evasion charges. He had to surrender nearly $30 million from his personal accounts and his business operations and to forfeit four properties encompassing 464 acres.
Lake had surrendered his license to practice medicine, and a five-year prison sentence arranged under a plea agreement was on the horizon.
Lake's wife, Dr. Susan Lake, also an osteopath, and their son told investigators that they believe Lake's death was the result of his agreement to cooperate with the federal government as a condition of his plea deal.
The threats started after that. Days before the slaying, they said, someone had broken into their home, taken a photo of Jonah sleeping and then sent Kevin Lake the photo along with a threatening letter.
Susan Lake told investigators that she thought it was an attempt to intimidate her husband so he wouldn't testify in the future, a search-warrant affidavit says.
Jonah Lake blurted out the prior threat during his 911 call.
"We called the police, but they (expletive) wouldn't listen," he yelled.
But authorities say they didn't know about that incident until after Kevin Lake was shot, court records say.
Alarm not activated
Father and son were home on the morning of June 22. Jonah Lake said his mother had left for work about 20 minutes before he first called 911 at 7:12 a.m.
Jonah Lake said in his 911 conversation that he was upstairs and his father was in the downstairs bedroom when the attack occurred. Jonah said he thought he heard four shots.
The intruder apparently broke into the house by cutting a hole in a first-floor window screen at the rear of the home, according to an affidavit for a second search warrant.
The home's security-alarm system was not activated, that affidavit states.
Tucker said he understands that the alarm system monitored the home's doors but not the windows. The alarm system was triggered when deputies entered through the front door.
Detectives with the sheriff's office interviewed Lake's wife and son on the day of the shooting, Tucker said, but haven't talked with them since. Tucker said that detectives would like to interview them again, but both are represented by attorneys and are not talking. Messages left with their attorneys were not returned.
In recent weeks, a detective obtained the second search warrant to seize Jonah Lake's cellphone to search for possible evidence, court records show. Tucker said that nothing should be inferred from the detectives examining the cellphone.
Court records state that "no evidence" was recovered from the phone.
Tucker said detectives have been working on evidence in the case for more than seven months.
"There's so much to go through," he said.