4 killed in West Chester: Residents, religious leaders and officials react with shock

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Members of a temple where three of the four people slain in West Chester Twp. shooting attended are mourning their loss Monday.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Neighbors and community members reacted with shock on Monday after four family members were found dead in a West Chester Twp. apartment they shared.

“I think it’s just really crazy,” said Charles Johnson, another resident at the Lakefront at West Chester apartment complex. “I wouldn’t expect something like this to happen out here in West Chester.”

Police were called to the apartment complex at around 10 p.m. and found three females and one male dead. On Monday morning, despite the crime scene tape ringing the two-story apartment building, people were going about their business, walking their dogs and taking their kids to nearby Endeavor Elementary School.

Parm Singh was one of those parents.

“It is very scary,” he said. “It is a good neighborhood. I don’t know what’s going on.”

Jasminder Singh, president of the executive committee from Guru Nanak Society Sikh Gurudwara Sahib of Greater Cincinnati, said he has known the man killed at the apartment for 11 years.

“He was a great friend, he was a great dad, he was a great grandfather and he was a great husband,” Singh said.

RELATED: Chief: 4 family members dead in West Chester Twp. homicides, shooter not believed to be among them

The man, his wife and his daughter were at the temple Sunday, Singh said.

“When I find out it was him, shock,” Singh said. “He was totally fine yesterday. Especially when you know somebody that many years. He was a great guy.”

Police chief Joel Herzog said during a Monday news conference that police were looking for the person or people responsible.

“It’s a little unsettling to know someone like that is out there doing those things,” neighbor Moses Wise said..”

Classes were held as usual at nearby Endeavor Elementary School, but Betsy Fuller director of school/community relations at Lakota Schools, said officials took precautions.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is always our number one priority,” Fuller said. “Additional security precautions have been put in place. As this is an ongoing investigation, until an arrest is made, we are will continue to be extra vigilant in our security efforts.”

Johnson said his young children — ages 5, 3 and almost 1 — heard the “commotion” and saw the flashing lights.

“They saw the lights, they come to me and said, ‘Daddy what’s going on?’” Johnson said. “I couldn’t tell them what was going on, I’ve got to protect them, kind of shield them from that kind of thing. Keep their innocence.”

Another resident, who did not want to be identified, said she was out of town Sunday night and that returning to find out the incident happened was shocking.

“They are not giving too much information. We pay too much money here to not feel safe,” she said.

According to the apartment complex website, two- and three-bedroom apartments rent for $1,071 to $1,395. West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch said the new owner has put a lot of money into the complex.

“This kind of thing just doesn’t happen in West Chester, my gosh,” Welch said. .

Trustee Lee Wong said he is confident the police will solve the case quickly, and he noted with the size of the township, it is not immune to crime.

“This is a great community to live in and also one of the safest communities,” Wong said. “But this is also just like any other big city, there is going to be crime… But I have a lot of confidence in my police to ensure the safety of our residents.”

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