The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 1, 2013

Man gunned down after church service

Son arrested, says it was ‘will of Allah’

(Continued)

ASHTABULA —

Richard Riddle’s body will be transferred to the Cuyahoga County coroner for autopsy, Lancaster said.

Stell said Reshad Riddle has offered no motive for the shooting.

“Witnesses at the scene said the shooter entered church and made some references to Allah, but we are not sure if that was a motive or if there was a family problem, Stell said. “We have no motive confirmed with family members. There is no indication that the father and son had a bad relationship. Everyone thinks this was very surprising.”

Stell said Reshad Riddle was easily subdued at the scene and has, with some exceptions, been cooperative with officers. Stell said Reshad Riddle did not appear to be intoxicated.

Church associate pastor Steve Sargent said he was just entering the church as the shooting occurred.

“My mind went into overdrive,” he said. “I pulled several people into the bathroom, as many people as I could, and then I ducked under the baptismal.”

Sargent said while the church is at Hiawatha Street and Station Avenue — a notoriously crime-heavy part of town — the church is a sanctuary of peace for the community.

“I’ve been at this church all my life,” he said, “and I can’t ever recall an incident of theft. We have no fences here to keep anyone out. People can say what they want about this neighborhood, but the people have always been very receptive and respectful of this church and the work we do here.”

Adams said he is especially concerned for the children who witnessed the shooting or were held in the church as they feared for their lives.

“We will be bringing in counselors and people to talk to them about what happened, to ease their fears and give them comfort with what they witnessed,” he said. “I can’t imagine how you explain such a thing to a child — that they went to church on Easter with their families and this happened.”

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