An Ohio church shooting on Easter Sunday has left one 52-year-old man dead and the suspected shooter, the victim’s 25-year-old son, in custody after the incident.
According to witnesses, Reshad Riddle, 25, entered the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ in Ashtabula, Ohio during an Easter service yesterday. Riddle was reportedly “yelling” about God and Allah before the shooting, and the church’s Rev. David Howard Jr. describes a scene of confusion during the incident: “People pushed me into a back office and said, ‘somebody’s here with a gun.’ … This guy was outside hollering and acting crazy.”
Associate Pastor Sean Adams says churchgoers panicked, hiding under pews and frantically dialing 911. He says: “It was terrifying … The children were screaming and people were dialing 911. We were afraid to breathe.”
Adams says Riddle reportedly shouted that the Ohio church shooting was “the will of Allah” and “the will of God.”
Riddle’s father Richard Riddle was struck with a single bullet from a handgun, and the coroner indicates the wound was “immediately fatal.” Police Chief Robert Stell says the reasons behind the Ohio church shooting remain a mystery, explaining:
“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. There is no indication that the father and son had a bad relationship. Everyone thinks this was very surprising.”
Reshad Riddle is said to have had an extensive rap sheet prior to the Ohio church shooting, including an arrest for a serious domestic violence charge.