Police continuing to search for suspect in Middletown shooting, the city’s fourth in 3 weekends

Tomas Prieto Morales may have been involved in a deadly shooting Saturday night in Middletown. MIDDLETOWN POLICE
Tomas Prieto Morales may have been involved in a deadly shooting Saturday night in Middletown. MIDDLETOWN POLICE

Middletown police are searching for a man allegedly involved in a deadly shooting Saturday night.

Police were called to the 4100 block of Bonita Drive at 9:49 p.m. for a call of shots fired. They found a dead Hispanic male in the driveway, according to police. The name of the deceased hasn’t been released.

Police are looking for Tomas Prieto Morales, 52, a Hispanic male possibly driving a white 2007 Chevrolet Express Cargo Van license PKW8310 or a white Chevrolet box truck license PKV3129.

Middletown Police Maj. Scott Reeve said Morales lives at the Bonita residence. During the incident, there was a knock on the door, and Morales did not answer.

“It was like they knew there was trouble coming,” Reeve said.

Morales went outside, and that is when police say he shot the man found dead. He then fled.

Reeve said Morales talked to family members by phone after the shooting, but he later turned the phone off. He may be fleeing to Mexico, Reeve said. A national “be on the lookout” call has been issued.

Anyone who sees Morales or either vehicle should call 911 or 513-425-7700. Detective Ryan Morgan is leading the investigation, and he can be reached at 513-425-7735.

The incident was the third in three weekends that involved a shooting in Middletown.

On March 20, two people were injured in shootings at Middtown Lounge on Clark Street. By later that week, police arrested Davion Gates, 22, and Jermaine Trammel in connection to the shooting. Trammel was one of the people shot in the incident.

The shooting happened at about 1:30 a.m. Police were dispatched on a report of shots fired and found a woman suffering from gunshot wound to the head, according to the police report and officials.

A short time after the shooting, Trammel arrived at Atrium Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the arm.

Trammell said he was in the bar when a fight broke out between multiple people and he walked out the door to leave, “and that’s when he heard multiple gunshots and then felt his arm burning,” according to the police report. A friend dropped him off at the hospital, he told police.

On March 27, Jerode Daijone Hill, 29 and of Hamilton, was killed outside the 513 Lounge on North Verity Parkway, and others where injured when gunfire sprayed in the parking lot.

Police were called to the bar at 2:14 a.m. and found that numerous shots had been fired in the parking lot on the east side of the bar. The shooting occurred after a disturbance inside the bar, police said. No arrests have been made.

Dispatchers received five calls when shots were fired, including four from people at or near the bar screaming for help.

A male caller from the apartment building across the street said, “513. Guns are going off. I heard nine rounds.”