OTR bar manager recovering as police search for shooter
OVER-THE-RHINE, Ohio (WKRC) - A bar manager who was shot in the face remains in the hospital on Monday night.
Police are still on the lookout the man who shot her, as well as the van he was driving.
Police haven't been able to talk with Ellie Richardson yet because of her condition, but her family says she's out of the ICU and improving. She's able to drink water and eat soft foods.
Early Thanksgiving morning, the intersection of 12th and Walnut became a crime scene. Ellie Richardson was shot in the face after she left work at Lachey's Bar.
Police say a man driving a van came close to Richardson. Words were exchanged between them and the man in the van shot her when she approached the driver's side window.
“They know it was a Chevrolet, Express 1500 series, maroon in color. It has running boards on the passenger side,” said Lt. Steve Saunders.
Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Steve Saunders says the van was made between 1996 and 2002. There have been several calls about the van, but neither the shooter nor the vehicle have been found.
Despite the shooting, Lt. Saunders says crime is down in Over-the-Rhine.
"I don't think anyone should associate this one incident with an unsafe situation to go down and enjoy all of the amenities that Over-the-Rhine has to offer. It's a great neighborhood,” said Lt. Steve Saunders.
Staff at Taste of Belgium, two blocks from Lachey's Bar, feel the same way about the neighborhood.
"From where it was six years ago to where it is today: it's night and day,” said Andrew Maloney.
Over-the-Rhine has changed a lot. New businesses have cropped up and people have moved into the neighborhood, making what happened all the more surprising.
"The majority of incidents that I've heard of in Over-the-Rhine have been isolated whether it be related to drug and gang activity. So, to hear something like this was shocking to say the least,” said Andrew Maloney.
Richardson’s family issued a statement. Part of it reads:
"We are extremely grateful for all the love and support we have received from the community and beyond. We could have never fathomed the number of people who have wanted to help and we want to thank everyone."
So far, an online fundraiser for Richardson has taken in nearly $40,000.
Police describe the gunman as an African-American, in his 20's, with a slight beard. Police say he was wearing gold-rimmed glasses.
If you have information, please call CrimeStoppers at (513) 352-3040.
You don't have to give your name and could get a cash reward.
Ellie's family have created a Facebook page that you can follow for updates. You can find that page by following this link.