Police confirm double shooting in Elmwood Place was murder-suicide

Neighbors: Zarrell West was depressed Vietnam vet

ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio – Neighbors say the man who committed murder-suicide in his apartment was a Vietnam War veteran who had been depressed after losing his job.

fallon hale

They said Zarrell West's son was worried about his dad and convinced him to move next door about a year ago so he could keep an eye on him.

The son called police Thursday night when he couldn't contact his dad.

Police found West, 59, and Fallon Hale, 30, shot to death in the 6600 block of Hasler Lane.

Police ruled the double shooting as a murder-suicide, Elmwood Place Lt. Kevin Vanover said Friday afternoon.

West and Hale had been dead about 11 hours before they were discovered, police said.

Police are searching their cell phones for a motive, Vanover said.

“We spoke to the neighbor across the hall. The young lady that was inside the residence was known to frequent that apartment and was there the night before,” Vanover said.

Hale has multiple convictions for drugs and theft in Hamilton County. She lived in Lockland, police said.

She was slouched on the couch with a single gunshot to the cheek, investigators said.

West was in the middle of the room with a single gunshot to the head.

zarrell west

A loaded .357 caliber firearm was found near the victims.

There were no signs of forced entry, police said.

Police had been called to the apartment earlier Thursday.

"We were here for a report of a stolen firearm; we don't know if that's connected to this at this point,” Chief William Peskin said.

Police said West was a gun collector and they discovered 10 to 11 guns in the apartment. The others were secured and clean, police said.

Vanover said the previous call involved a 9mm handgun.

Police said it was the first homicide in Elmwood Place since Father's Day 2012.

Peskin asked the community for help.

“Nobody heard anything, (saw) anything out of the ordinary. So, if anybody did, we'd appreciate somebody giving us a call and letting us know because at this point we don't have anything,” Peskin said.

According to neighbors, West had been struggling to get Social Security benefits and his deposition had recently improved when some benefits came through.

Neighbors said they came home to flashing lights and crime scene tape and said they were shocked to hear two people shot to death nearby.

Police activity in the area is common, neighbors said,  but gun violence is not.

"I’ve heard fights and possibly drug activity going on but I would never think there would be a murder-suicide happen,” resident Fred Radcliffe said.

No other details have been released. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

 

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