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RYAN S. CLARK

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By RYAN S. CLARK

STAFF WRITER

 

Richmond police on Friday said they are looking to speak with and not necessarily arrest a man sought for questioning in the fatal shooting of a 27-year-old Richmond man.

 

Sgt. Brad Berner said he again hopes to speak with Ronald Allen Maish Jr., 34, who is still at-large after an early morning shooting killed Donald Middleton in the basement of a home on South Eighth Street.

 

Berner said a warrant has not been issued for Maish's arrest.

 

Maish, in the 911 call around 6 a.m. Thursday, admitted to an emergency operator that he shot Middleton.

 

Middleton, who was initially taken to Reid Hospital, was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and pronounced dead Thursday evening, the hospital said.

 

"We have not filed any charges against him," Berner said of Maish. "There are still a lot of unanswered questions and we just want him to come in and talk about it.

 

"Right now, we are trying to figure out what happened because we only have bits and pieces."

 

Berner said Friday morning that he received a phone call on Thursday evening from Maish at the police department.

 

Maish told police he was going to turn himself in within 20 minutes of that conversation, but he never showed up.

 

Berner said Maish sounded upset about the situation and concerned about Middleton's condition.

 

He described Maish as sounding "remorseful."

 

"We have had it happen before on shootings where people call us. Now does it happen all the time? No," Berner said about Maish's phone call. "But I can say that in my career, that I have had it happen to me a few times."

 

Police learned there was an altercation between the two at Mack Place, a bar not far from the 815 S. Eighth St. home where Middleton was found by police.

 

The altercation took place around 3 a.m. Thursday, Berner said.

 

When police arrived at the home, they found Middleton in the basement. Maish had left the scene when police arrived.

 

Berner also said on Thursday that Maish's family told police he and Middleton were friends.

 

"Maish left the bar first and then afterwards we are not sure what happened next," Berner said. "This is why we need Ronnie to turn himself in because there are two sides to every story."

 

Chief Kris Wolski said Friday that the 911 tape is an investigatory record and would be released to the media at some time in the future.

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News  |  Feb. 16, 2008  |  Page 1A

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