ASHTABULA: Police are investigating a shooting outside a church that reportedly left one man dead after an Easter service.
Ashtabula police would not immediately confirm the fatality; an officer answering the telephone would say only that authorities were investigating.
A member of the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ said the man was shot soon after Easter services ended, around 1:15 p.m. Sunday. Joan Crockett said the man knew the shooter, and that a suspect was taken into custody. She said the wounded man died.
The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland reported that the church’s pastor said congregants were leaving when they heard a gunshot.
“People pushed me into a back office and said, ‘Somebody’s here with a gun,’ ” said the Rev. David Howard Jr. “The guy was outside hollering and acting crazy.”
The paper reported the victim was Richard Riddle, 52, a member of the Pentecostal church and a family member of the shooter.
There were no other injuries, said Howard, adding he knew of no motive. Howard said the church has about 175 members.
“It’s such a tragic loss,” Crockett said.
The State Highway Patrol and Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office were assisting the Ashtabula Police Department in the investigation.