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Police try to link two shootings

Melissa Topey • Jun 15, 2010 at 11:50 AM


No arrests have been made in the days following a Hancock Street gunfight that left an innocent bystander hospitalized and police searching for answers.

Sandusky police responded to Hancock and Neil streets at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday after receiving reports of shots fired.

Witnesses told police about 60 people were dancing in the street when an argument started and shots were fired into the crowd.

Officers have interviewed witnesses and are following up on several leads, Sandusky police Det. John Orzech said.

"There's been an accusation its gang-related, but we have not been able to confirm that," Orzech said.

Police said initial reports indicate the incident may have been retaliation for a shooting outside a 7-Eleven on Camp Street, which happened about an hour prior to the Hancock Street shooting. No one was injured in the Camp Street shooting.

"We're trying to link the two," Orzech said.

But surveillance cameras at 7-Eleven were not recording on Saturday morning.

Orzech would not answer questions about whether two specific gangs were involved in the shootings.

Police said they're in the early stages of an investigation looking into a possible second gang operating in Sandusky, though they have not named the group.

So far, the motivation for the shootings remain unknown.

Orzech said there were at least two shooters in the Hancock Street incident, but there may have been others involved.

Witnesses at the scene told a reporter they saw two men start shooting at each other after an argument. The suspects are older than 18 and younger than 25, Orzech said.

Witnesses' initial statements to police suggest between seven and 13 shots were fired. Police collected at least five spent shell casings on Hancock Street early Saturday, all of which were ejected from .45-caliber or .40-caliber guns, according to police reports.

Kevin D. Randleman, 48, of the 300 block of Madison St., sustained a superficial wound to the leg during the gunfight, Orzech said.

Randleman was treated and released from Firelands Regional Medical Center.

Orzech said Randleman appeared to have been an innocent bystander; he was walking to a Hancock Street store when he was shot.

It does not appear the people involved in the shooting lived on Hancock Street, an area that has been plagued with trouble but has seen some improvements in recent years, Orzech said.

"We've had good success," Orzech said. "We'll actively target the area."

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