You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Springfield’s first homicide underscores increased gun violence


Springfield’s first homicide of the year occurred early Saturday when two men were shot, one fatally, in the 500 block of South Clairmont Avenue.

Jeffery Rife, 36, and Ronald McElroy, 43, both of Springfield, were found shot after crews were dispatched around 3:40 a.m. to the 500 block of Clairmont Avenue on the city’s east side. They were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center, where Rife succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said.

RELATED: As Springfield violence climbs, 2 sides battle different fronts

McElroy suffered one or more gunshot wounds but his injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

Detectives were still working Saturday night to locate a suspect.

RELATED: Murders drop in Springfield, but gun violence is up

Residents in the normally quiet neighborhood were awakened by the gunfire.

“I heard a loud noise, wasn’t really sure what it was, heard it again and then recognized it as gunshots. … There were several, at least eight that we had initially heard,” said Carlisa Parker, a longtime resident.

Police told nearby residents the shooting was believed to be an isolated incident, but many said they were left in fear and are concerned for the safety of police officers and others in the community.

“It’s very shocking and it’s very scary and it’s extremely unusual for something like that to happen in this neighborhood,” Parker said. “We’ve been here for 22 years and nothing like this has ever occurred here.”

The killing underscores what law enforcement said is a pressing need to curb gun violence in Springfield, which this year has injured multiple people but had not led to any homicides until this weekend.

Five people were slain in Springfield in 2016, down from a dozen killings a year earlier.

However, the city last year saw a significant increase in aggravated assaults, which often are tied to gun violence.

Police recorded more than 20 aggravated assaults through the first two months of 2017, including multiple gunshot victims who were lucky to survive.

“There are still people reaching for a handgun to solve a problem,” police Chief Steve Moody told this news organization earlier this month.

5 QUICK CRIME READS

Cousin: Springfield ax murderer didn’t kill family, is a ‘good guy’

Springfield woman jailed in OD death accused of smuggling drugs again

Springfield doctor alleges hundreds of thousands stolen by accountant

Springfield troopers find 1 pound of crystal meth in traffic stop

Woman pleads guilty in Clark County campground choking death



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Woman lashes out about Confederate flag on man's 'Dukes of Hazzard' car
Woman lashes out about Confederate flag on man's 'Dukes of Hazzard' car

Activist Ybia Anderson confronted the unnamed owner of a replica General Lee muscle car at a heritage festival last Saturday and the resulting video has gone viral. Anderson, who is black, began videoing the car, a 1969 Dodge Charger similar to the one featured on the television show "The Dukes of Hazzard" as it was “front...
Missing NC teen found safe in Georgia more than a year after she vanished
Missing NC teen found safe in Georgia more than a year after she vanished

A missing North Carolina teenager, who vanished last year, has turned up at a home in Georgia. Hailey Burns, now 17, has been reunited with her family at an undisclosed location in Georgia, according to law enforcement sources. A FBI special agent in Charlotte learned of information that led investigators to a home in Duluth, Georgia, where they found...
Georgia women’s college trying to atone for Ku Klux Klan legacy
Georgia women’s college trying to atone for Ku Klux Klan legacy

Like other first year students corralled in Wesleyan College’s auditorium in Macon, Georgia, Dana Amihere didn’t know what to make of the spectacle unfolding on stage. It was fall 2006 and the freshman had been awakened in the dead of night. A group of sophomores stood on stage yelling, screaming and cheering as part of a hazing ritual...
Janet Jackson loving motherhood as she gets back into her music, producer says
Janet Jackson loving motherhood as she gets back into her music, producer says

Janet Jackson welcomed her very first child, son Eissa, in January and is having a great time being a mom! “She’s so happy,” her longtime producer, Jimmy Jam, told Entertainment Tonight. “I get FaceTime [calls] at like two in the morning, usually when I’m wrapping up in the studio. It’s always just Isa [on FaceTime]...
Gov. John Kasich’s website hacked
Gov. John Kasich’s website hacked

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s website was hacked today by a grouip claiming to support the Islamic State. The Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was also hacked. A screen appeared saying: “Anti: Govt all word. You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people. For every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries. I love...
More Stories