LISBON - A white male in his 40s was fatally shot early Friday morning in a home located two miles south of town on Steubenville Pike in Center Township.
Lt. Allan Young of the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office declined to release the victim's identity pending notification of his relatives, but he said the man was originally from the East Liverpool/Wellsville area.
Young said they received a 911 call about 5:30 a.m. Friday from someone saying there had been a shooting at 10357 Steubenville Pike. Deputies arrived to find the victim lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken by ambulance to Salem Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 7 a.m.
Sheriff’s deputies Willie Coleman and Jon Price, at right, preserve the crime scene while two agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation gather evidence at the Center Township home where a man was fatally shot Friday morning. (Salem News photo by Tom Giambroni)
The home is owned by Fern Dotson, who was renting it to a black male she identified only as B. "It is my understanding B was paying rent and fixing the place up, and he has a girlfriend who is also supposed to be living there," Young said.
Also staying at the home was a second black male, who had moved in that week. The victim also arrived this week with his girlfriend and they were staying there, too.
"He was a visitor at the house," Young said of the victim.
The only other person at the house when deputies arrived was the second black male, who has been questioned. Authorities are in the process of trying to find B and the girlfriends to interview them.
Although authorities are not yet prepared to give a motive for the shooting, they believe it was not a random act. "One of the two people in the home was targeted," Young said.
Investigators spent most of Friday gathering evidence and trying to locate witnesses and conduct interviews to get a clearer picture of what happened. Two of the three sheriff's detectives were on vacation, so Lt. Brian McLaughlin and agents from the county Drug Task Force assisted in the investigation by helping interview neighbors and track down potential witnesses. Salem Police Detective David Talbert also went to the hospital to collect evidence from the victim and interview the ambulance crew.
Also assisting at the crime scene were agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
Young said no assistance was sought from the county homicide task force because they believed they had enough manpower.