EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – A murder investigation is underway in East Liverpool. The victim was found on the front porch of a home.
“Another father, parent has to bury their child over senselessness,” said John Scott, who knew the victim’s father.
The police chief says he needs more officers to prevent these kinds of tragedies. This is East Liverpool’s second homicide this year.
Into Thursday evening, they are still early on in their investigation.
Police dispatch received a call of shots fired around 1 a.m. Thursday in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Ave.
When officers arrived, they found one victim, deceased, on the front porch of the home. At this time, police don’t believe it was a drive by shooting.
“Officers realize there is nothing they can do at that point. They’re trying to protect the scene,” said Chief John Lane.
Once the victim was declared deceased, officers called in for back up.
As of now, the victim has not been named.
Police believe only one person was shot.
“When you’re in a situation like that, 10 seconds is a long time. We were waiting on officers to get here from other departments. You’re calling out detectives and all the process to get everyone there that you need to process that scene,” said Chief Lane.
All morning, law enforcement combed both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, with crime scene tape at two houses.
The coroner came to take the body around 9 a.m.
Scott believes this was one person trying to get back at another.
“This is all stemming back from some incident that happened a month ago in a retaliation type thing,” he said.
Police have not confirmed if this is the case or if the victim was the intended target, but Scott is asking for the violence to come to an end.
“What we’re doing is letting ripples create that don’t need to be created,” Scott said. “This is sad. This is not what East Liverpool is about. East Liverpool is a small town, yes indeed. We have our problems, but we know who’s who and what’s what. So this needs to stop, absolutely.”
Chief Lane says they are understaffed. He has 12 officers working under him and would like to have between 18 and 20.
“But now, our numbers are down to something that’s not bee like that since I’ve been here, and all of a sudden, we have two homicides in a couple of months,” Chief Lane said.
He argues it involves the pay scale and their insurance rates. He says he was told it was a three dollar an hour pay cut just for the insurance.
“Just something that needs to be adjusted. If we’re going to hire people and keep people and stop training them for the rest of the county, then that’s going to have to be fixed,” Chief Lane said.
Until then, Chief Lane and his officers are left with the task of investigating another homicide, and the community has to start the healing process.
“We all need to come together, bring some good energy into this world, stop doing this, so nobody has to hurt like these guys are hurting right now,” Scott said.
Traffic was stopped in the area while law enforcement investigated. Police directed traffic around the scene.
The sheriff’s office, East Liverpool police, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were on scene.
Chief Lane says if anybody has any information to call the East Liverpool Police Department, and you do so anonymously.