By Joe Gorman
Police in both the city and Warren Township are dealing with shooting incidents from Saturday morning.
In Warren Township, police Chief Don Bishop said two men related to a man shot and killed by Warren police Oct. 19 burst into the J&L Club on Highland Avenue and started a fight with people who were there celebrating at a private party about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
Bishop said he had asked a couple of bars to close Friday because he had picked up information that they may be targeted for retaliation in the death of 24-year-old Taemarr Walker, who was shot and killed at Palmyra and Risher roads Southwest in the city last weekend.
Police are still investigating the Walker shooting, but evidence that has leaked in recent days suggests that Walker had at least two guns in a car he was riding in and had a loaded handgun in his hand when he was killed.
Bishop said the J&L Club was one of the places that agreed to shut down, but instead was having the private party when the two men came in and accused the crowd of celebrating Walker’s death.
There was a fistfight that moved into the parking lot, then gunfire, but no one was injured from the gunfire, Bishop said. Officers collected six spent .45-caliber shell casings from the parking lot.
Bishop said he did not know how many people were inside the club but added he was taken aback it was so crowded after he asked that the bar shut down for the night and they agreed.
“The place was packed,” Bishop said.
A short distance away at a gas station at Tod Avenue and West Market Street in Warren city limits just a short time later, a man was shot and killed. According to Vindicator broadcast partner 21 WFMJ-TV, Richard Rollison IV, 24, died after being shot. Rollison was shot six times and his car was stolen while he was lying on the ground bleeding, according to WFMJ. Police would say only there was a shooting at West Market Street and Tod Avenue. A message could not be left with spokesman Lt. Jeff Cole because his cellphone said his mailbox was full. Chief Eric Merkel did not return a message asking for information.
Walker had a lengthy criminal record and Bishop said he was shot by three men in an ambush in Warren Township in 2009. One of the guns Walker had on him the night he was killed was taken from a Warren Township home in a burglary earlier this year.
That night, a city police officer was investigating a car in a ditch when a car Walker was in drove up and also ended up in a ditch. It is unclear what happened next, but the officer was heard on police audio before Walker was killed yelling at Walker to put his hands up and saying there was a subject with a gun.
An officer can be overheard on a video recording made after Walker was shot that police were responding to reports earlier in the evening that Walker was planning to shoot up a bar.