5 Eaton women witness moments after Las Vegas shooting

Published: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 7:46 AM
Updated: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

UPDATE @ 2:34 p.m.:

A group of five Eaton women are in Las Vegas and witnessed the chaos that followed the shooting at the Route 91 concert Sunday night.

Janet Eby was one of the women and she said the group found out about the shooting when they got off the bus on the Las Vegas strip.

TRENDING: Las Vegas shooting: Live updates

“At that point we just attempted to head back to the hotel,” Eby said.  “The eerie thing was that everyone on the strip and walking was solemn, everyone was on their cell phones, we could hear the police, see the police, going down the street"

Eby is a member of the women’s singing group “Something Good,” who are spending time in Vegas for what she described as a “girls week out.” The group is staying at the Marriott Grand Chateu.

INITIAL REPORT:

A Bellbrook native attending the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas left minutes before the shooting began, according to her mother. 

Molly Sparks called her mother, Lori, early Monday and told her about the mass shootings. 

“As a parent getting that 2 a.m. phone call from your children is heart-stopping,” Lori Sparks posted on Facebook. 

“I got that call (this morning) from my daughter Molly Sparks who had been at that country concert in Las Vegas, but luckily had left about 30 minutes before the chaos started,” she added. “Those that were not so lucky, my heart goes out to their families and I will pray for the injured as well. I hope that type of call never happens again.”

A local couple vacationing in Las Vegas chose not to attend the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas at the last minute, a decision that may have saved their lives." 

Holly Bennett, who is from Xenia, and her husband were in Las Vegas the night tragedy struck after a gunman opened fire at a concert, killing at least 50 people and wounding over 200, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. They are safe after deciding to attend another show, rather than the Route 91 Festival the night of October 1.

“We decided not to go because of the chaos that happened the night before”, said Bennett. “Instead, we ended up going to a Cirque du Soleil show.”

Video on social media shows people panicking during the shooting in Las Vegas on late Sunday, Oct. 1. Russell Bleck, also known as @rtbleck on Instagram, was filming and running low towards his friends. He also shared on the website that 'he had barely made it out'.

Bennett was staying at The Mirage hotel, which is right next to the Mandalay Bay where the shootings occurred and fortunately got word of the shootings early and made an escape plan.

RELATED: How to check on loved ones after deadly Las Vegas shooting

“There was word of a shooting, so we went seven miles downtown to stay away from it”, she said.

Bennett has been stuck at a downtown Las Vegas casino since the shootings first occurred and is unsure when she or  the many others who are stuck as well, will be able to go back to their hotel.

“The entire strip is shut down, back roads are closed, and they are not allowing residents to get back in their hotel, especially at the New York-New York hotel”, Bennett said.

She said police are investigating the New York-New York Hotel specifically, which is right across the street from the Mandalay Bay, and she is unsure why. 

A concert-goer captured the moment a gunman opened fire on an outdoor music festival held on the Las Vegas Strip late on Sunday, killing at least 20 people - including two off-duty police officers - and wounding more than 100.

RELATED: Photos: Deadly Las Vegas mass shooting

Nonetheless, Bennett says police have been great with giving out information and updating everyone on the unexpected situation.

“Knowing this to be one of the largest shootings, it is unbelievable and shocking”, said Bennett. “The atmosphere is weird, kind of somber, and strange”.

Bennett is not scheduled to fly out of Las Vegas until Wednesday and although flights have been affected by the incident, she believes she will have no problem getting home. 

Trial begins for school bus stop sex assault suspect

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 3:58 PM

RANDY STANAFORD
RANDY STANAFORD

A Dayton man accused of kidnapping a girl at knife-point and sexually assaulting her while she was waiting for the school bus was in court this afternoon for the start of his trial.

Randy Stanaford, 39, is charged with rape of a child less than 13 years old and kidnapping.

Stanaford, a registered sex-offender, was accused of kidnapping the 11-year-old girl while she was waiting for the school bus near the intersection of Edgar and Heaton avenues in Dayton last September, according to prosecutors.
RELATED: Bus stop rape suspect pleads not guilty

"This defendant, a homeless registered sex offender, kidnapped and raped an 11 year old girl, who was a complete stranger,” said Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.

The 39-year-old was convicted in Butler County in 2008 for attempted kidnapping and public indecency and was released from prison in August 2015.

A jury was selected for Stanaford’s trial Monday morning and opening statements began shortly after 3 p.m.

If convicted as charged, Stanaford would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

I-675 wrong-way crash: 18-year-old victim ‘best friend anybody could ask for’

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 10:51 AM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 8:38 PM

Two men died in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 675 in Centerville Monday night.

(UPDATE @ 8:40 p.m. Oct. 23): Kalip Grimm, 18, one of two men killed in the Oct. 16 wrong-way crash on I-675 in Centerville, is being remembered as “the best friend anybody could ask for.”

Two of his best friends, in Collin Hare and Ty Marker, spoke about Grimm following his funeral Monday morning.

“His personality was just an amazing thing and every time he saw you, every single time, he said, ‘wasss up baby.’ That was his go-to line,” Hare said.

Hare and Marker wore orange -- Grimm’s favorite color.

Nearly 400 vehicles were part of the procession and there were nearly 2,000 signatures in the guest book.

RELATED: 2 killed, 2 injured in I-675 wrong-way driver crash

  • Police: Melvin Bonie Jr., 69, was the wrong-way driver 
  • Grimm was driving the car Bonie hit head-on, police said
  • Police: Initial findings point to excessive speed, not alcohol

Grimm graduated from Miamisburg High School in the spring and was working a full-time job since graduation, according to his mother Stacy Grimm. His 19th birthday would have been Sunday

I-675 wrong-way crash, Oct. 16, 2017. Staff photo

RELATED: Wrong-way driver detection: Could new technology save lives here?

The fatal crash Monday occurred five days before Kalip’s 19th birthday, Grimm said.

Melvin Bonie Jr. was a Beavercreek resident who was a retired analyst from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to friend Karen Rase of Beavercreek.

RELATED: Wrong-way crashes often deadly, hard to prevent 

He was a wine connoisseur who spent much of his retirement traveling, collecting art and enjoying dinners, she said.

“He never made ordinary stuff other people would make,” she said. “When he did cook…it was roast duck and he always had the perfect wine. “

Bonie was a wine consultant with Tramonte & Sons, according to the wine distributor’s website, who was known to attend and hold wine-tastings around the area.

A native of New Orleans, he was a graduate of the University of New Orleans, according to his Facebook page.

We’ll continue to update this page as we learn more both men. 

One flown to hospital from scene of Champaign Co. multi-car crash

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 7:29 PM

Jim Pancoast, President and CEO of Premier Health, speaks during a christening of the new Careflight medical helicopter was held on the helipad of Miami Valley Hospital Wednesday, Sept. 3 in Dayton.  Michael Franz / Staff
HANDOUT
Jim Pancoast, President and CEO of Premier Health, speaks during a christening of the new Careflight medical helicopter was held on the helipad of Miami Valley Hospital Wednesday, Sept. 3 in Dayton. Michael Franz / Staff(HANDOUT)

A medical helicopter is responding to the scene of a three-car crash in Champaign County Monday evening.

Champaign County dispatchers said a crews were sent to the 4000 block of U.S. 68 in Urbana Twp. around 6:30 p.m. 

A semi is involved in the crash and at least one person is being flown from the scene. 

Dispatchers said it is unknown what led to the crash or how many victims are reported at the scene. 

A portion of U.S. 68 has reopened after briefly closing as crews responded. 

We will update this story with new details when available.

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Dayton police hoping victim in shooting tells them what happened

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 11:39 AM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 6:41 PM

Shooting victim shows up at Dayton hospital

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m.:  A man wounded by gunfire early Monday is telling Dayton police he was walking on North Main Street when a female in a red car drove up and shot him, police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said, but police can find no evidence at the place where the man said he was shot. 

Police interviewed the 45-year-old victim at Good Samaritan Hospital, where he had been taken by private conveyance. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Man convicted in 2016 slaying of girlfriend

"He was not really forthcoming with a lot of credible information,” Coleman said. “He said he knew her."

Police aren’t sure of the man and woman’s relationship.

The white female who possibly fired at the man was in a red car, the sergeant said. 

Police found no evidence of a shooting at North Main Street at Knecht Drive, where the victim said he was hit by gunfire, Coleman said.

"We're just hoping the victim tells us what happened,” the sergeant said. 

The victim's wounds are considered non-life threatening, Coleman said. 

Anyone who saw the shooting is asked to call Dayton police, 937-333-COPS, or Montgomery County Regional Dispatch, 937-225-4357.

Police were dispatched to the hospital on a report of a male who had been brought in by private vehicle about 11:30 a.m.

Initial reports, via police and fire radio dispatch, that a car with two men arrived at the hospital.

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com