Niles police are looking to talk to witnesses of the city’s first murder this year, where a man was fatally shot outside a bar.
The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Clayton Bender, of Warren.
The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. outside Madden’s Bar and Grill on Route 422.
“It was my understanding that the group of people that were leaving the party got into an argument in the parking lot that escalated into a physical fight and then ultimately into gunfire after the physical fight ended,” said Niles Police Capt. John Marshall.
Bender was one of the people leaving the private party, which was to celebrate the birthday of a man who was killed in Warren late last year.
Police say it appears all the shots were aimed at a Cadillac that Bender was inside of, breaking the back window.
Someone who called 911 told dispatchers that they heard about six shots then saw a dark-colored pickup truck leaving the scene, heading toward the mall.
“Whether or not that information is completely connected to the event I’m not ready to say at this point. It may be, but it’s not something we’re solely focused on,” Marshall said.
Even into the afternoon more than 10 hours after the shooting happened, investigators were still on scene trying to piece together all the evidence of this crime.
Investigators are hoping surveillance video from nearby businesses captured it.
“From the way things are progressing, we hope to have some movement soon,” Marshall said.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting in the investigation.
“There is some suspect information right now. Our detectives are actively seeking out a witness,” Marshall said.
Meanwhile, a Howland police officer responding to the scene got in an accident on his way there. He has been treated and released from the hospital.