MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – Police say they have their hands full investigating two shootings after a New Year's Eve party that claimed the lives of two women early Sunday morning.
Chief Rodney Muterspaw said both victims – killed while passengers in cars – had been at the 513 Lounge, but he doesn't know if the shootings were connected to the party there.
He does have an idea that something bigger than a barfight led to the shootings.
"We think there's much deeper issues," Muterspaw said.
Investigators spread out to talk to witnesses, the chief said.
"We have about four different teams out there working on this going to different locations, dealing with the hospital, trying to get information from the different people who were shot," he said.
The first shooting led to the death of Mariana Maria Richlen. The driver was shot in the 513 Lounge parking lot and sped off, crashing into a wall on Clark Street, according to witnesses.
The driver and several back-seat passengers were taken to the hospital.
About an hour later, Teresa Shields died when someone fired a hail of bullets at the car she was riding in with her boyfriend at Roosevelt and Wicoff.
"I just woke up to about 10 gunshots over here on Roosevelt right across from AK Steel," a 911 caller said.
"I didn't hear no return fire. I just heard about 10 shots."
The boyfriend, Stevie Waldon, was wounded.
That was after 2 in the morning.
"We know the group that was shot up at Roosevelt and Wicoff left (the party) almost an hour before the shootings happened on Clark Street outside the 513, so they were long gone, so we're not sure exactly what happened with the timeline," Muterspaw said.
Police say they are still looking for a white Jeep Cherokee with dark rims that they believe is connected with Shields' shooting. If you have any information that could help police, call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.