Easter should be a day of celebration, religious reflection, and of course, lots of chocolate and festivities. Unfortunately this year, a man spoiled the day's jubilance when he walked into and Ohio church and fatally shot his father.
Police report that 25-year-old Reshad Riddle walked into the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ in Ashtabula and murdered his father Richard Riddle, 52, with a single shot on Easter Sunday afternoon. Witnesses claim that Reshad was yelling about God and Allah as his father lay wounded and dying from the gun wound.
Associate Pastor Sean Adams told The Star Beacon that worshippers began screaming, ducking and calling 911 on their cell phones as Reshad fired his weapon.
"It was terrifying," said Adams. "The children were screaming and people were dialing 911. We were afraid to breathe." Adams added Reshad continued into the church after the shooting, clasping his gun as he yelled the killing was "the will of Allah. This is the will of God."
Authorities arrived shortly after the shooting and apprehended Reshad with ease, as he complied with their demands. Reshad has yet to provide police with a motive for the shooting. One would assume Reshad and his father had a rocky relationship, but there have been no indications of such family turmoil in the past.
"Witnesses at the scene said the shooter entered the church and made some references to Allah, but we are not sure if that was a motive or if there was a family problem" said Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell. "There is no indication that the father and son had a bad relationship. Everyone things this was very surprising."
This isn't Reshad's first time dealing with the law. He's previously been arrested and charged with two counts of felony assault, kidnapping, abduction and tampering with evidence. He has also been charged with possession of drugs, including cocaine.
Reshad has forever tainted Easter Sunday for the small town of Ashtabula, Ohio. No matter the joyous holiday, his actions will never be forgiven.