A small Ohio town was terrorized Sunday after a man fatally shot his father outside a church after an Easter service.
Witnesses said Reshad Riddle, 25, killed his father, Richard Riddle, 52, with a single shot from a handgun just outside the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ in Ashtabula, Ohio. He then entered the church, still holding the gun and yelling that his act was “the will of Allah,” church associate pastor Sean Adams told the Star Beacon.
“It was terrifying,” Adams said. “The children were screaming, and people were dialing 911. We were afraid to breathe.”
The number of 911 calls led local police to believe a mass shooting was taking place, according to the news outlet. When police arrived moments after the shooting, Riddle was subdued and taken into custody, AP reports. He offered no motive for the shooting, and police say he has an extensive criminal record.
Steve Sargent, an associate pastor at the church, said he heard the gunman and the victim before shots were fired, according to AP.
Biblical and inspirational quotes are posted on what appears to be Reshad Riddle’s Facebook page. On the day of the shooting, Riddle shared a photo that read, “I believe in Jesus Christ and have accepted him as my personal Savior. ... If you love God and are not afraid to show it, repost this.”
A more cryptic post published the same day said, “They bout to find out how real scripture 440 525 84 [sic].”
The church has a congregation of about 175 parishioners, Rev. David Howard Jr. told the Plain Dealer.
"People pushed me into a back office and said, 'Somebody's here with a gun,'" Howard told the newspaper, recounting the horrific scene. "This guy was outside hollering and acting crazy."