DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Gunfire exchanged in the Westwood neighborhood after midnight Monday morning killed one man and shocked the neighborhood.
By late Monday morning, several blocks of Burleigh Avenue stretching south of Westwood School had returned to their normal, quiet routine.
Several residents were sipping coffee and enjoying breakfast on their front porches in the morning heat.
One man has been living in his home for 17 years and called himself a relative newcomer to Burleigh Avenue.
“This is not a young person’s block,” he said. “Most of these people were here before I got here.”
The small, long-time community was jolted awake hours earlier.
Around midnight, police responded to reports of multiple gunshots. When they arrived, they found a 25-year-old man shot to death on a lawn at Greenway Street and Burleigh Avenue.
A neighbor, who requested WDTN omit his name, said the incident was the first time he’d heard of any crimes that severe happening nearby.
That’s very, very unusual for this neighborhood,” he said. “I think I’ve heard of a couple of break-ins, but that was it, no shootings or anything like that at all. That’s got me kind of puzzled.”
Other neighbors said they couldn’t distinguish the shooting from late-night 4th of July celebrations.
Ammer Rogers lives across the street from where the victim was found and had just gone to bed.
“When I heard the noise I thought it was fireworks going off,” Rogers said. “My dogs were running all crazy, just as if I heard that big boom (of fireworks). I didn’t pay it any attention.”
When Rogers found out the noise belonged to fatal gunshots, she was shocked. She works late hours at Kettering Hospital and said the incident made her reconsider her personal safety.
“I may be changing my hours because I never know who’s going to be in my alley and jump me when I get out of the car,” Rogers said.
The Dayton Homicide unit is investigating the crime and neighbors are staying more vigilant than ever.
“A bullet has nobody’s name on it,” Rogers said. “A stray bullet goes anywhere.”