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Police: Theft among homeless group led to latest Middletown fatal shooting

Middletown police cracking down on problem areas
Posted at 7:37 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 19:37:27-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Bond was sent at $1 million for a Middletown man accused of fatally shooting a man Friday night on Curtis Street, theJournal-News reports.

Jason Halcomb, 40, of Church Street is charged with murder in the death of William Ray Riley, 28, shortly after 9 p.m. on Curtis Street.

He was arraigned on Monday in Middletown Municipal Court, where Judge James Sherron set bond. A preliminary hearing is set for May 26. Police say Halcomb admitted to the homicide.

According to Middletown police, they received a call that Halcomb had allegedly shot someone in the 400 block of Curtis Street at approximately 9:09 p.m. Riley was transported to an area hospital, where he died.

FIRST REPORT: Middletown police arrest homicide suspect

Police said a theft allegedly led to the shooting.

A group of homeless people had gathered on Curtis Street when Halcomb allegedly stole some property from a female. Riley came to her defense and was killed by Halcomb, according to police.

A woman called 911 screaming that Riley “had been shot in the side … he’s not breathing.”

The caller identified Halcomb as the shooter and gave a description of what he was wearing.

“Jason shot Will,” she screamed to people in the background.

Halcomb was found by officers Saturday morning at a Church Street residence and taken into custody without incident. The gun used in the shooting was also recovered, according to police.

When interviewed by detectives, Halcomb admitted to shooting Riley, according to court documents

MORE: 6 days, 3 shootings, 2 deaths: An active week in Middletown

The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO 9 News.