Police link Howland robbery suspect to Warren bar shooting

Local News

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren police announced Wednesday that the man they believe is responsible for hurting three people in a bar shooting on Friday is in custody and facing felony charges. Police said he got picked up after an armed robbery in Howland, when officers learned it was the same guy.

Ryan Rulong, 27, is in the Trumbull County Jail, charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of felonious assault and aggravated robbery.

“We’re just glad this individual is off the streets,” said Rick Rolfe, the owner of University at Larchmont Bar & Grill.

Three people were hurt in the bar shooting. Police said Rulong fired at least five shots from a handgun while driving past the building.

Police said witnesses were able to identify Rulong’s white truck, which was spotted leaving the bar and coming back later.

Surveillance video from inside the bar shows customers taking cover.

WATCH: Surveillance video from University at Larchmont shooting

Rulong’s arrest came after an armed robbery at the TrueNorth gas station on E. Market Street.

911 dispatcher: “Did he have a gun?”

Clerk: “Yes, he did. He was talking [inaudible] and everything. He put it in my face.”

Police said he left the robbery in a white truck.

After getting information about the robbery, Howland Police Officer Eric Bowker was able to stop Rulong just north of Niles Vienna Road on Route 11 South.

While that was happening, Warren police were in the process of getting search warrants for Rulong’s home and vehicle as part of their investigation into Friday’s shooting.

“We didn’t realize there was a connection until he was already in custody,” said Howland Police Chief Nick Roberts.

Investigators said after his arrest, he admitted to firing shots at the bar. He said he didn’t have an issue with the bar, just two men who said something to him after seeing him fall while trying to jump the fence around the patio, police said.

“This is an isolated incident at this establishment. The bar is traumatized, everyone in there is traumatized, and I’m just glad Howland was able to catch this guy and set everybody’s mind at ease that he’s now facing criminal charges,” said Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel.

University at Larchmont, which had been closed since the shooting, reopened on Wednesday.

“We thank the community and the efforts of the safety forces to get this individual off the streets,” Rolfe said.

Rulong is set to be arraigned on the charges Thursday morning.

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