Warren bar shooter blames drugs for his actions, receives sentence

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Ryan Rulong appeared in a Trumbull County courtroom Friday for his sentencing

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A man who shot at a Warren bar and then robbed a Howland gas station will spend 39 to 40.5 years in prison.

Ryan Rulong, 27, appeared in a Trumbull County courtroom Friday, where Judge Ronald Rice called him a “danger to society.”

Last month, it took a grand jury less than an hour to find him guilty of 17 felony charges, including attempted murder and felonious assault.

Prosecutors say Rulong shot at the University At Larchmont bar in May, injuring three people. Afterward, he robbed a gas station in Howland.

In court Friday, Rulong blamed a drug and alcohol addiction for his actions.

“I did not mean to hurt anyone. I am not that kind of person,” he said.

Judge Rice told Rulong that he is a violent criminal who also has a mental illness.

“Unfortunately for you, but fortunately for the people of Trumbull County and the victims in this case, our local law enforcement community was up to the task. The police departments for the City of Warren and Howland Township are to be commended for their outstanding police work, which brought you to this courtroom to answer for your crimes,” he said.

Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker said three people were nearly killed.

“And then, a Judge Rice pointed out, just a few days later, to commit another violent felony all for the sake of $200 is really beyond the pale of what we’re used to seeing here,” he said.

Richard Rolfe, the co-owner of University at Larchmont bar said they’re thankful that no one was killed in the shooting.

“It’s been a tough, almost three months since this incident,” he said.

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