Middletown drive-by shooting may be connected to other crimes

Middletown police are looking for a vehicle driven in a drive-by shooting Tuesday morning.

Witnesses said occupants of a gold Kia minivan fired shots in the 700 block of 20th Avenue about 10:45 a.m., according to the police report.

Three men told officers they were standing in front of a house and heard six shots, then “took off running.” They were later stopped by officers in a blue vehicle that also matched the description of a car that was in the area at the time of the shooting.

The men said they ran from the area when they were being shot at, according to the police report. Ricky Samuel said he called 911 as he was being shot at and dropped his phone while running.

Bullet holes were found in two houses on 20th Avenue. Evidenced technicians collect six shell casings from the area and a .380 semi-aut0matic pistol with one round in the chamber and five in the magazine.

Middletown Police Lt. Jimmy Cunningham said “a lot of the same people” at the 20th Avenue location were at the D&J’s Nite Spot on Elliott Drive early Tuesday morning, when Julian Marquis Johnson was killed and at least one other person was injured.

Malcolm Franklin, 27, is charged with aggravated murder and three counts of felonious assault for his alleged involvement in that incident.

Middletown dispatchers received three 911 calls reporting the drive-by shooting on 2oth Avenue.

“I saw boys jumping the fence and heard gunfire,” a resident of 19th Avenue said in a 911 call obtained by the Journal-News. “I closed the door and got in the house.

Another woman told dispatchers, “I want to report a shooting … a car pulled up in front of house and started shooting at people in the front yard.”

In a third 911 call, a man yells, “hurry up” and then says someone got shot and he is hiding on the other side of the fence near Minnesota Street.

Cunningham said they have no report of anyone being hit in the shooting.

Cunningham said police are also investigating a possible connection between the recent gun violence to the January murder of Teresa Shields.

Shields, 26, was shot and killed about 2:25 a.m. Jan. 1 while a passenger in a car driven by her boyfriend Steve Waldon. The 2010 Audi was hit by multiple bullets at the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Wicoff. Waldon and others in the car survived.

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