A deadly shooting had citizens of downtown Portsmouth on high alert early Saturday morning when reports of the shooting spread across social media. Shawnee State University sent out an alert at 2:48 a.m. announcing that Portsmouth Police were investigating a shooting at had just occurred at the Columbia Theatre and Bar, located at 832 Gallia St. According to the alert, the suspect had fled and citizens were encouraged to avoid the area.
According to a Portsmouth Police Department (PPD) press release, the shooting happened inside the Columbia at 2:23 a.m.
“Officers learned that there had been two males that had been shot,” the press release stated. “Both males were transported to trauma centers outside of Portsmouth. Officers were later advised that one male was pronounced deceased at the trauma center.”
According to Police Chief Robert Ware the shooting was originally reported to officers outside the bar at the time of the incident.
At 8:27 a.m., while still in search of the suspect, PPD were called to another shooting at the 1500 block of Waller Street, where there reports of a male firing multiple gunshots.
“Officers secured the area and were able to locate the suspect,” the PPD press release explained. “The suspect, Daniel Jay Swords, was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary, felonious assault and discharging a firearm across a roadway. Officers are trying to determine if the two shootings are related.”
The owner of the Columbia, Lee Scott stated that this is a very sad thing that occurred in his facility.
According to Ware, there is no additional information regarding the victims at this time.
“The reports are still being completed and will be available Monday along with any 911 calls that are located,” Ware commented.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information regarding either shooting is asked to call Detective Steve Brewer or Detective Chuck Crapyou of the PPD Detective Division, which can be reached by calling 740-354-1600 or 740-353-4101.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.