Cleveland man charged with assault in connection to fatal shooting at Wayne County racetrack
WEST SALEM, Ohio (WOIO) - The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said a Cleveland man has been charged with assault in connection to a fatal shooting during a drag racing event.
Jonathan Paul Roman Perez is currently charged with felonious assault and is under guard at a medical facility with non-life threatening injuries he received during the apparent shootout at Dragway 42.
Captain Doug Hunter, of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies and other law enforcement agencies responded to the West Salem raceway on June 13 at approximately 5:45 p.m. for reports that multiple people were hit by gunfire.
Paramedics and law enforcement found 33-year-old Luis Cuevas, of Cleveland, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to an area hospital where he died from his injuries.
Three other people were also injured during the shooting.
Victims and witnesses told deputies that the shooting stemmed from an altercation involving a man who appeared intoxicated at the time.
The individual was driving his pickup truck recklessly and doing burnouts in the parking lot, causing gravel to hit other vehicles, witnesses told the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said the suspect was confronted. He then retrieved a handgun from his truck and opened fire.
Another person on the scene, who was licensed to hold a CCW permit, started shooting at the suspect, causing him to leave, according to investigators.
Wayne County prosecutors collected evidence, video clips, and statements from witnesses, which led to the filing of an arrest warrant for Perez on a charge of felonious assault.
Once released from medical care, Perez will be taken to the Wayne County Jail for booking.
“I am pleased with the progress we have made with this case but there is more work to be done and the possibility of additional charges as well as defendants, remains,” said Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson. “While violent incidents such as this are rare in Wayne County, we approach these investigations with the goal of obtaining the truth.”
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office did not initially clarify what role Perez played in the shootout, whether he was carrying a CCW permit or if he fired the fatal gunshot.
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