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Relative: No motive in Easter shooting in Ohio

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm •  Published: April 1, 2013
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Associate Pastor Sean Adams told The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon newspaper that Reshad Riddle walked through the church, still holding the gun, and yelled that the killing was "the will of Allah. This is the will of God."

Some worshippers hid in a bathroom until police arrived, according audio of a 911 call made from the restroom. The female caller told a dispatcher she'd seen the armed man, wearing black and red, walk across the yard quickly.

"We can hear him. He's got a gun, and he's in there trying to preach," she says, pleading for police to come quickly while yelling is heard intermittently in the background. Officers arrived and apprehended the suspect within four minutes of her call.

Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell said the younger Riddle 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. "There is no indication that the father and son had a bad relationship. Everyone thinks this was very surprising."

Court records show Reshad Riddle has an extensive criminal record.

Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court records show he was arrested and charged with two counts of felonious assault, kidnapping, abduction and tampering with evidence in 2006.

Records show that in 2007, Reshad Riddle was charged with felonious assault, and in 2009 he was charged with possession of drugs, tampering with evidence and possession of cocaine.

According to police reports, one of the felonious assault charges stemmed from an incident when Reshad Riddle allegedly attempted to cut his girlfriend's throat. Capt. Joseph Cellitti said the young woman's neck had been cut with a knife and she suffered bruising on her side and chest.

Church parishioners said Reshad Riddle was a member of the church as a child, but did not attend services regularly as an adult.

"No one would have thought twice about him being here with his family on Easter," Adams said. "His family (has) been members here for years and years."

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Associated Press writer Kantele Franko in Columbus contributed to this report