On Monday at 10:50 a.m. New Boston Police Department 911 Dispatch started getting multiple calls of a drive-by shooting within the 3900 block of Rhodes Avenue at the Evans Variety Store.
No one was hurt or shot during this incident. Multiple witnesses reported seeing a white vehicle driving by the store and a passenger in the vehicle leaning out of the vehicle and firing several shots toward the storefront. The business was closed at the time of this incident and no one inside the building.
One witness followed the white vehicle into Sciotoville, ending up on the Dollar General Store parking lot. Upon NBPD Officers and Portsmouth PD Officer’s arrival to the scene, the male suspect fled on foot and was apprehended by a Portsmouth PD Officer.
Upon further investigation at the arrest scene, it was found that the male suspect had shot a pellet gun and fired several pellet shots into the storefront windows.
Arrested was a Florencio Lee Diego age 21 of Portsmouth. Charges will be vandalism a felony in the fifth degree, inducing panic a fifth-degree felony.
Diego will be incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail.
It is believed at the time of incident everyone thought the suspect was shooting a real firearm because the pellet gun looked like a real gun and probably because when the pellets were hitting the windows it was making very loud popping sounds.
UPDATE: After further investigation, the NBPD now believes the suspect was shooting a real firearm in that vicinity.
In the afternoon, NBPD responded to the parking lot of the South Central Education Center located at 522 Glenwood. Their parking rear parking lot faces towards Gallia Street.
An employee came out of the school and notice his windshield had a bullet hole through it and an NBPD Officer did recover a piece of a bullet from inside of the employee’s vehicle.
Upon re-checking the area on Rhodes Avenue, Officers did recover five spent shell casings. The NBPD now believes the holes in the storefront window may be from old incidents, those holes appear to be from a pellet and no holes appear to be from a firearm bullet.
The suspect did give Officers a statement that he was shooting a pellet gun in that area but now we believe it was a real firearm.
At this time no firearm has been recovered, NBPD believe the suspect threw the gun out of the window along the highway.
The suspect Diego will still face charges of criminal damaging and inducing panic both being felonies and once this case is presented to the grand jury additional criminal charges could be added.
NBPD would like to thank everyone for calling in to help us by stating what they saw and thanks to the Portsmouth PD Officers, Scioto Co. Sheriff Deputies, and OSHP Troopers who assisted us at the arrest scene.
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