HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights Police discovered a deceased male, Joshua Hamilton, of Springfield, Sunday after responding to Kricket’s Tavern at 5478 Brandt Pike around 2:30 a.m.
At that time, Huber police officers were dispatched to Kricket’s Tavern, located at 5478 Brandt Pike on a silent “hold up” alarm, according to Lt. Tony Ashley. He indicated that the alarm was immediately followed by several 9-1-1 calls from patrons at Kricket’s, who reported an altercation with gunshots being fired.
Ashley said there were not a lot of patrons at the time of the altercation and shooting because it was while they were preparing to close.
“From the initial investigation, it appears there was a brief altercation between several patrons and then gunshots were fired,” stated Ashley in a press release. “Police-critical evidence technicians and detectives are interviewing witnesses and processing the scene (inside and outside of the tavern).”
According to City Manager Rob Schommer, the victim was 19 and he expressed concern about underage purchase violations by Kricket’s Tavern.
“Over the past couple of years, Huber Heights Police and the city have reported violations of the liquor law to the Ohio Investigative Unit,” said Schommer. “They, on two occasions, had underage purchase violations per the establishment. “This unfortunate tragedy of the loss of an 18-year-old man in our city, will cause the city, the Police Division and everyone involved to not rest until we have the cancellation of this establishment’s liquor license. Because of the past history they’ve shown to be an irresponsible liquor permit holder and the Ohio Investigative Unit has investigated them several times over the course of two years. It is my hope, that the Ohio Investigative Unit will continue to work with the city to make sure that this establishment no longer operates as it has for the last year.”
Schommer said that the city does not issue or control the issuance of a liquor permit, but it’s all done at the state level.
“Much like in the case of the Heat Nightclub, the city opposed the issuance and the city challenged the issuance and what we hope is for a much quicker remedy to the violations than what we have seen in the past,” added Schommer.
Schommer said the city will investigate whether Kricket’s is and was in compliance with its laws. He said it was very disheartening that there was another homicide.
“We’re very concerned and we’re very sympathetic to the family of the young man and it’s a very tragic thing to have such a young life taken in our community,” said Schommer. “We will certainly work diligently to bring justice and to make sure that any establishment in this community that chooses to operate as a liquor establishment does so respectfully and responsibly and will take all measures to safeguard the patrons and to safeguard the surrounding neighborhoods and community.”
Huber Heights Police Chief Mark Lightner told the Huber Heights City Council Monday night that he has two detectives who are “working around the clock on this case” and have set aside all of their other cases.
“We do have a lot of good leads that we’re working on and we are confident that we will locate the person responsible and bring them to answer to their action,” said Lightner.
Anyone with information related to the homicide is asked to contact Det. J. Colvin at 937-237-3593 or the Dispatch Center at 937-233-2080.
Reach Greg Smart at 684-8088.