The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 1, 2013

Man gunned down after church service

Son arrested, says it was ‘will of Allah’

ASHTABULA —  Children screamed in terror and hid under the pews at Hiawatha Church of God in Christ on Sunday, witnesses said, as an Ashtabula man was shot and killed by his son just after the Easter service.

Richard Riddle, 52, was leaving the church on Hiawatha Street with his wife at about 1 p.m. when his son, 25-year-old Reshad Riddle, approached him and fired a single round from a handgun, instantly killing Richard, church associate pastor Sean Adams said.

About 150 parishioners were leaving the church in recessional. They ducked down at the sound of the gunshot, pushing their children and grandchildren under the pews as Reshad Riddle entered the church, still carrying the gun and yelling that the shooting was “the will of Allah. This is the will of God,” Adams said.

“It was terrifying,” Adams said. “The children were screaming and people were dialing 911. We were afraid to breathe.”

Reshad Riddle was quickly subdued by officers, who arrived just moments after the shooting, Adams said.

Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell said dispatchers received multiple calls from inside the church and immediately called law enforcement mutual aid from every available agency to the scene.

“The initial call we received was more along the lines of a mass shooting,” he said. “We knew that shots were fired in the church and we thought there were multiple people down. We called other agencies to assist because it was described as a mass shooting and we weren’t sure if there were multiple shooters or multiple people wounded.”

“It is always better to be safe than sorry,” Stell said, “and we got a great response. Many agencies — easily six agencies — came to assist.”

County Coroner Pamela Lancaster said Richard Riddle’s wound was “immediately fatal.”

“I know there was one gunshot wound, but I did not do any further investigation,” she said. “I did all the investigation I could do under the circumstances at the scene. There were many churchgoers there, so a tent and drapes were set up around the victim to ensure privacy. We did our best to shelter the situation and get (Richard Riddle’s body) in the transport van quickly.”

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success