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Horrified church congregation watches son kill father after Easter service in Ashtabula

Published: Mon, April 1, 2013 @ 12:45 a.m.

Horrified church congregation watches son kill father after Easter service in Ashtabula

Associated Press


Children screamed in terror and hid under the pews at Hiawatha Church of God in Christ on Sunday, witnesses said, as an Ashtabula man was shot and killed by his son just after the Easter service.

Richard Riddle, 52, was leaving the church on Hiawatha Street with his wife at about 1 p.m. when his son, 25-year-old Reshad Riddle, approached him and fired a single round from a handgun, instantly killing Richard, church associate pastor Sean Adams said.

About 150 parishioners were leaving the church in recessional. They ducked down at the sound of the gunshot, pushing their children and grandchildren under the pews as Reshad Riddle entered the church, still carrying the gun and yelling that the shooting was “the will of Allah. This is the will of God,” Adams said.

“It was terrifying,” Adams said. “The children were screaming and people were dialing 911. We were afraid to breathe.”

Reshad Riddle was quickly subdued by officers, who arrived just moments after the shooting, Adams said.

Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell said dispatchers received multiple calls from inside the church and immediately called law enforcement mutual aid from every available agency to the scene.

“The initial call we received was more along the lines of a mass shooting,” he said. “We knew that shots were fired in the church and we thought there were multiple people down. We called other agencies to assist because it was described as a mass shooting and we weren’t sure if there were multiple shooters or multiple people wounded.”

“It is always better to be safe than sorry,” Stell said, “and we got a great response. Many agencies — easily six agencies — came to assist.”

County Coroner Pamela Lancaster said Richard Riddle’s wound was “immediately fatal.”

“I know there was one gunshot wound, but I did not do any further investigation,” she said. “I did all the investigation I could do under the circumstances at the scene. There were many churchgoers there, so a tent and drapes were set up around the victim to ensure privacy. We did our best to shelter the situation and get (Richard Riddle’s body) in the transport van quickly.”

Richard Riddle’s body will be transferred to the Cuyahoga County coroner for autopsy, Lancaster said.

Stell said Reshad Riddle has offered no motive for the shooting.

“Witnesses at the scene said the shooter entered church and made some references to Allah, but we are not sure if that was a motive or if there was a family problem, Stell said. “We have no motive confirmed with family members. There is no indication that the father and son had a bad relationship. Everyone thinks this was very surprising.”

Stell said Reshad Riddle was easily subdued at the scene and has, with some exceptions, been cooperative with officers. Stell said Reshad Riddle did not appear to be intoxicated.

Church associate pastor Steve Sargent said he was just entering the church as the shooting occurred.


1HappyBob(360 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

And the killings continue, enabled by the NRA lobby opposed to background checks for all.

My condolences to the family

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2Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Because I am sure this was a legally owned firearm that was owned by a competent person. Oh wait we don't need facts. I am willing to bet he did not legally own that gun. SO make MORE laws instead of enforcing the ones we have.

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3captainlinger(663 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

The description of a "Mass shooting" was ironically accurrate.

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4Jive_Turkey(32 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Prayers go out to the families involved.

It's a shame this thread has to turn into pro/anti gun from the get-go.

This is not the NRA's fault, it is Reshad Little's fault. How can you blame an organization that stands up for our second amendment rights? Imagine our country without the second amendment. Do you like tyranny?

More guns is not the answer, I agree. But painting every gun owner with the same broad stroke as you would with Reshad Little and all these other mentally incompetent individuals who commit these types of crimes is wrong. You and the media do a great job and causing panic and hysteria. Guns aren't evil. I've never heard of a gun walking into a public domain and doing harm. It's the individual that's the problem.

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5cambridge(4139 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

If everyone at church had their gun with them they could have all returned fire. I'm sure one of them would have hit the shooter.

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6redeye1(5666 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

HellaBB You are such a fool. Years ago Morton Grove ILL. it was decided by their Gov't that they would be a gun free city. All residents had to give up their guns. A neighbioring city council took them. Today the crime rate in Morton Grove ILL is just below Chicago's. The city that took the guns crime rate is next to nothing. Please explain that one. If you can't I will , the criminals know they could get shot oif they broke into any house in that city, so they stay away and go to Morton Grove ILL. Its people like you who make me sick with your thinking that we make more laws and all the crimes will stop Wake up, you liberal arsehole.!!!! One other thing where do you get your facts from CNN news or MSnbc or what?

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7WhatRUAfraidOf(85 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Cambridge, they would have also probably hit innocent bystanders if everyone were firing in the general direction of the perpetrator. Your argument is insane, unless it is intended as sarcasm.

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8Jive_Turkey(32 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Benjamin Franklin (sometimes Thomas Jefferson) is often quoted as saying, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”


I don't claim to be a master of the English language or an upstanding member of the Supreme Court so I can't personally outline and define how the second amendment is interpreted. But a simple search helped me better understand how the Supreme Court has defined it in the past. As quoted on Wikipedia in response to the three competing models ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_A... ),

"The third, known as the "standard model", was that the Second Amendment recognized the personal right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

However, the weight of serious scholarship supports the historical intent of the Second Amendment to protect individual rights and to deter governmental tyranny. From the Federalist Papers to explanations when the Bill of Rights was introduced, it is clear that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to protect individual rights."

A court case presented to the Supreme Court, found here ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District... ) better outlined the second amendment. Take a look at the decision, it basically states,

"The Supreme Court held:
(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53."

You can interpret it how you wish, but the Supreme Court holds up to this model, protecting the right to bear arms in a way that's consistent with protecting free speech.


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9redeye1(5666 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

HELLBB I have one question for you. Do you favor abortions?

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10excel(1307 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Reshad Riddle too is a victim of a gun. He has woke up this morning to find that a gun has stolen his fathers life. We can end the carnage and save many families from anguish. How? By banning guns from the general public. One gun and one bullet can kill. Let's remove them all and restore life and dignity to the masses.

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11CassAnn(252 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Are you aware that violent crime is WORSE is Britain, where guns are outlawed? Eliminating guns doesn't eliminate violent crime, it only eliminates one tool criminals use.

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12HappyBob(360 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Senate Bill 480 expands the definition of mental incompetency for firearms background checks. Senate Bill 649 expands the firearms background checks to all sales and transfers except in-family and estate transfers.
Pass them both to “make every effort possible to prevent guns from ending up in the wrong hands” .
There is no single silver bullet, killings will still occur, perhaps not at the same rate. But the alternate, doing nothing will surely bring more tragedies.
I can’t imagine that the lawmakers who oppose this legislation can look Gabby Giffords in the eye and believe they are doing the right thing.
My condolences to the Riddle family, who have lost two of their own to gun violence.

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13Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

All the antigun nuts need to spend a few weeks walking around Washington DC and Chicago armed with a book of guns laws and see how well that works. They have very strict gun laws there

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14HappyBob(360 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Your right Ytownnative, the solution to everything is to eliminate all the laws. Apparently that is the root cause of all crime.

Let's hear your solutions not your BS.

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15GailsMom(17 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

It is written "live by the sword, die by the sword"

and so you gun guys are taking us with you.

Dear Lord, Please comfort the Riddle family in their time of need.

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161970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago


More on the shooting.

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17redeye1(5666 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Why isn't anyone memtioning that the KILLER was a Muslim. At the least he was someone who thought he was a muslim. . So why aren't we banning them from getting guns too ?

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18CassAnn(252 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

KSUgrad (that explains a lot) I have actually lived over there as well. You are the one who has data skewed. Rape, car theft, ANY kind of theft runs full throttle there and they are brazen and bold because there is no fear. Nothing like hitting a pub with some of your mates and being knifed for your car. It is also noteworthy that some of the least dangerous US states are those with the least amount of gun control – but then y’all knew that, right?

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19Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Its actually very simple. Enforce the laws we have. bump illegal possession of a firearm to a felony with a mandatory prison, not county jail time. #2 prosecute straw purchases with mandatory time.

#3 A life in the valley is worth around 3-5 years. A murder conviction should take a criminal off the streets for atleast 15 years.
Start there and see what happens

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20CassAnn(252 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

England’s Crime Rate Nearly Four Times Higher than United States

Read more: http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/01/e...

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21lumper(301 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

the true answer is lightweight, stylish, affordable kevlar !

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22excel(1307 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Remove from the public tools that allow killing with the pull of a finger and the urges to kill can't be easily fulfilled!

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23VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

The Second Amendment to our Constitution..."the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

There is a reason why we have a Second Amendment and yet people still want to destroy it because they do not understand what it means for their freedom.

Freedom is lost a little at a time, step by tiny step, until you finally have a socialist organization ruling over the people.

We must remember, "The People" are supposedly in control of our country according to our Constitution and it must remain this way. We have altered many of our laws to accommodate those who think they have a better solution, but we have gone the opposite way from the intended outcome and now we suffer under laws that infringed our rights and we have laws we cannot possibly enforce.

Criminals thrive in our country because of our laws, so people think more laws against the entire populace will stop the criminals, but what everyone is overlooking is the real fact here....Criminals Do Not Care About Laws !!! You can pass all the laws and regulations you want. Criminals will not be stopped by laws and laws actually make it easier for criminals to operate because laws only impede "The People".

If we truly want to turn crime, rape and murder around, we need to begin addressing the way we coddle criminals. There is no better way.

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24Jive_Turkey(32 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago


A sincere thank you. I appreciate your viewpoint and agree with it. There is still hope; I just wish others shared the same collective thought in regards to the Second Amendment and what it truly represents.

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25walter_sobchak(2721 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

The 2nd amendment must be yiewed in its entirety:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

When written, the militia was the unorganized able-bodied citizen-soldiers that would be called up to defend themselves, their neighbors, state and country. This is as opposed to the organized standing army. The founders realized that in a free society based on self-rule that, from time to time, arms needed to be taken up to protect the masses or the individual. Obviously, "being necessary to the security of a free state" meant something to them and it is too often ignored in modern times. But, the founders said that the PEOPLE's right to bear arms shall not be infringed. It does not say that the government shall arm the citizenry in times of insurrection but that the individual will keep himself armed to maintain law, order and peace. In a country where the individual's liberty is paramount, it is essential that the individual do what is necessary to protect liberty for all.

Now, while the government shall not infringe my rights to keep and bear arms, they can certainly regulate them and they should. It would seem sensible that background checks be expanded. We should do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally incompetent. Closing the gunshow loophole also needsd to be looked at. But, if someone is hell-bent on shooting up a school or church and they plot and scheme their crime, they will find some way to obtain the necessary firepower to do the deed.

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26HappyBob(360 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Certainly agree with your thoughts about the committed mass shooter.

The senate bill 649 provision on background checks tries to create an additional barrier to the easy access to weapons not just for the mass shooter but also for the stalker persons that are angry at neighbors that have a history of "bad acts". It does not affect gifts or sales or transfers within an immediate family or the passage by way of estate transfers. It also excludes the temporary transfer for sporting events and hunting trips.

The is no good reason for the law abiding citizen to be opposed this legislation.

People need to read the bill for themselves, then decide.

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27Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Ban knives there has recently been a multiple stabbing in Texas. A single knife can wound and kill. Start with registering knives then ban them all then we need to work on the forks.

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