Authorities are seeking to identify a male suspect who reportedly shot a man Tuesday evening during a physical altercation in the parking lot of Center Christian Church near US 35 and Interstate 71 in Fayette County.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m., a witness called 911 and reported seeing two vehicles parked in the church parking lot and two individuals outside the vehicles involved in a fight, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. A short time later, the caller reported hearing what was believed to be a gunshot.
Deputy Jordan Lovely arrived at the scene and located only one vehicle in the parking lot. Inside the vehicle was an “incoherent male suffering from a gunshot wound,” Stanforth said.
Lovely requested response from EMS and a medical helicopter while administering first aid to the victim, who is from Butler County, according to reports. The name of the victim is being withheld at this time, according to Stanforth.
“The suspect had left the area prior to the arrival of the deputy,” Stanforth said.
Once Fayette County EMS and a medical helicopter arrived at the scene, the victim was transported to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for treatment. The victim was reported to be in stable condition on Wednesday afternoon.
Stanforth, along with members of his command staff and detective bureau, responded to the scene and secured the perimeter while the investigation was conducted. A crime scene agent was requested from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI&I) to assist sheriff’s detectives with the investigation and collection of evidence.
“We have detectives going to OSU to find out his status and see what he has to say,” Stanforth said Wednesday afternoon. “The victim’s vehicle has been processed. BCI assisted with that and we’re waiting to see if any evidence comes from that.”
Investigators are working to establish a motive and to identify a suspect in the shooting.
“This has all the hallmarks of a drug transaction that went sour, but we have not determined that for sure,” Stanforth said.
Members of the Jefferson Township Fire Department also responded to the scene to provide assistance to deputies and EMS members.
Anyone with information regarding this shooting is encouraged to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 740-335-6170.
Stay with the Record-Herald, www.recordherald.com, for more information on this developing story.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica