Charges filed in weekend shooting incident

James E. Wright

James E. Wright

Mike Ullery

PIQUA – Charges have been filed in a weekend shooting incident in Piqua.

James E. Wright, 35, was taken into custody soon after he allegedly shot Robert V. Smith, 35, of Piqua during an attempted robbery. He was originally held on charges stemming from probation and parole violations. On Monday, Piqua police charged Wright with Attempted Murder; Aggravated Robbery, both first-degree felonies; and Having a Weapon Under a Disability, a felony of the third degree in connection with the robbery and shooting.

Police were called to 224 S. Main Street in Piqua at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday on the report of a disturbance. Minutes later, the call came in of a subject with a gun and another subject with a head wound, possibly as a result of a shooting at 304 1/2 S. Main Street.

Officers found Smith, unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. Wright was located a few blocks away and identified by witnesses as a suspect in the shooting, and taken into custody.

Smith was transported to Upper Valley Medical Center by Piqua Fire Department medics and transferred by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital. He was treated for blood loss, blunt force trauma, and a gunshot wound to the head.

In the course of the investigation, search warrants were served at both 224 S. Main, where the shooting occurred around a garage at the rear of the property, and at 304 1/2 S. Main, where both the Smith and Wright went immediately after the assault.

Deputy Chief Tom Steiner of the Piqua Police Department said that Wright allegedly wanted money from Smith and fired multiple shots during an attempt to rob him. After being shot, Smith apparently went to 304 1/2 S. Main Street, seeking help and Wright allegedly followed the wounded man, still attempting to rob him.

When Smith collapsed, Wright allegedly left the handgun used in the assault at the 304 1/2 address, and then fled. Officers recovered the now-empty weapon during the execution of a search warrant later.

Wright is currently incarcerated in the Miami County Jail awaiting arraignment.

Smith was scheduled to be released from the hospital on Sunday.

James E. Wright E. Wright