Police receiving tips, have leads in fatal Middletown shooting

More tips are coming in to police as investigation continues into Middletown’s second homicide of the year.

Police were dispatched at about 2:20 p.m. Saturday to a report of shots fired in the 600 block of 16th Avenue. There, police found Kapriece Fuller, 23, dead on the front porch of a home from an apparent gunshot wound.

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Dispatchers were told that a gold KIA with a small spare tire on the vehicle and black primer bumpers on the front and back fled the area just after the shooting.

Another witness said a gray Volkswagen occupied by three black males, who had reportedly been pointing guns at Fuller while at Douglass Park, was also involved.

Detectives originally believed the vehicle was a VW Beetle, but have since learned it was a VW Passat that is brownish gray in color, according to Middletown Police Lt. Scott Reeve, who added that the car was seen with dealer tags.

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“He (Fuller) knew some guys were cruising around and possibly after him,” Reeve told the Journal-News today. “It sounds like he was expecting problems.”

Detectives continue to receive tips, Reeve said, and he urged anyone who sees anything suspicious to call police. Tips can remain anonymous.

“People get scared and it is hard for people to really be upfront and open about their cooperation. When we get a tip, it usually has to remain anonymous because people are afraid of retaliation,” he said.

Arrests from anonymous tips can be more difficult to prove in court, but “they are better than no tip at all,” Reeve said.

If police had been tipped about the alleged gun “flashing” in Douglass Park, they may have been able to make a stop before more violence occurred, he said.

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On Sunday, Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw posted his thoughts on Facebook about stopping the violence:

“Since yesterday, I’ve read and heard “we need more police involvement”, “we need more cameras”, “the city has to do more”, “we need more patrol on our streets and parks”… and the list of quotes go on and on. Great wish list but I’ll do you one better? How about I counter that with “we need more parental discipline,” “we need more mentors and big brothers,” “we need more community and pastors out in the neighborhoods reaching out,” “we need more visitors and push back why kids drop out of school and choose this life.”

The police chief said nearly every homicide have been committed by people in “the game.”

“I don’t even need to explain what the game is. Unfortunately a lot of the victims are as well. Karma waits for no one. It’s a vicious circle. More patrol and cameras don’t stop shootings, it would help the investigation after the fact but what stops shootings is a mentor or adult that believes in a young person enough that they will be for them in times of anger and need. It’s community and it’s family — that’s what will stop this. What drives someone to this type of life where they feel they have to do things like this to succeed? You want to stop this violence? When you see or know someone who is involved tell them to stop. Do you have friends that are in the game? You know they have a gun, pull them aside and tell them not today!”

Fuller was taken to the Butler County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy. Results of that autopsy have not yet been released.

According to Middletown Municipal Court records, Fuller had been charged 30 times dating back to 2013 on various drug, traffic and assault charges.

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