Matthew A. Hayden, 21, has been charged with the murder of of Sarah and Elizabeth Hayden, and the attempted murder of their friend Joshua Hacker, in Cloerain Township on Wednesday. He shot them dead as the group sat in their parents’ minivan in the back of a home at 3455 Banning Road, according to court documents.
According to Jim Love, Colerain Township public information officer, the sisters were pronounced dead at the home. The victim’s friend, Hacker was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center and is in stable condition. Police said the victims were all teens but their exact ages are not known yet. Hayden surrendered without incident to police shortly after 2:30 a.m. He used a 9 mm handgun in the shooting, was arrested and charged later in the morning.
He faces two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. The shooter emptied a magazine and then reloaded. There were people in the home at the time but they don’t seem to have witnessed the shooting, Love added. “It’s kind of a hodge-podge situation; not clear that this is one congealed family,” he said. Love said many shell casings from different caliber guns were found on the street but they appeared to have been there for a while and it is not clear if they were from the fatal shooting. “Question is what started this. Is it drug-related, was it an anger situation, is it a relationship situation? Why were they up at 2:30 in the morning, in the backyard? Those questions are all on the table,” he said.
Former Colerain High School football coach Steve Schweitzer, 71, whose well-manicured property is across the road from the home where the shooting occurred, said the residents of 3455 Banning are the exception in the diverse and close-knit neighborhood. “That side of the street is totally different,” Schweitzer said. “This is almost like a climax to what, I guess, was going on over there.” Love said the property is known to police as they’ve made prior runs to the house for unspecified reasons.
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