South Carolina officials say Riverside killing suspect’s charges more severe in Ohio

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South Carolina officials say Riverside killing suspect’s charges more severe in Ohio

A suspect in a Riverside homicide earlier this week was arrested early Saturday in Spartanburg, South Carolina, after he allegedly fired a rifle at a deputy.

  • Suspect Sterling H. Roberts is in S.C. jail
  • Victim is Robert Caldwell of Beavercreek
  • Caldwell shot to death in front of his 3 sons

UPDATE @ 3:47 p.m.:

A spokesman for the 7th Judicial Circuit’s Office in South Carolina said Sterling Roberts could return to Ohio, despite additional charges in Spartanburg County.

“If Ohio wants him, they’re welcome to him,” said Murray Glenn.  “Hopefully he gets a sentence that’s appropriate for the types of crimes he’s accused of.”

The new development could bring Sterling Roberts back to the Miami Valley quicker that Riverside Police Chief Frank Robinson anticipated when the original arrest was made.

UPDATE @ 10:25 a.m.:

Riverside’s police chief said he expects Sterling Roberts to remain in South Carolina for a while after he was involved in an incident where he was accused of firing multiple shots toward a deputy.  

Due to Sterling’s “indiscretions” it could be some time before he will return to the Miami Valley to answer to any charges that may be filed with the fatal shooting of Robert Caldwell, the chief said.

Riverside police said they are continuing to move forward with their investigation.

INITIAL REPORT:

Sterling H. Roberts, 34, is accused of firing multiple shots toward a deputy, according to an incident report from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Roberts has a Washington Creek Lane, Centerville address listed on the court records from South Carolina. A deputy spotted Roberts near a Circle K gas station late Friday night after authorities received a report of a suspicious man. Roberts fired a rifle across the street toward the deputy’s vehicle, according to the incident report.

“During the incident Roberts pointed the rifle at several bystanders in the area, which resulted in additional charges. It was learned after his arrest that Roberts was wanted out of Dayton, Ohio, for weapons violations,” Master Deputy Darren Dukes said in a media statement.

Sheriff’s deputies did not return fire, and no one was hurt and no property was damaged, Lt. Kevin Bobo said.

Sterling Roberts SPARTANBURG COUNTY JAIL, SOUTH CAROLINA

Roberts is being held in Spartanburg County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder, pointing/presenting a firearm, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and fugitive from justice.

Robert Caldwell, 35, of Beavercreek, was killed in front of his three children on Tuesday in a shooting at Claypool Building on Linden Avenue in Riverside. Caldwell’s body was found in the parking lot. A boy ran to a nearby Bob Evans and told workers someone shot his father as they were leaving the building.

Riverside police later named Roberts as a suspect. Caldwell knew Roberts, and police said the shooting may have involved a child custody disagreement with Caldwell’s ex-wife.

Robert Caldwell, Contributed photo

UPDATE @ 1:20 p.m. (Aug. 19)

Riverside homicide suspect Sterling Roberts was captured last night in Spartanburg, South Carolina after reportedly shooting at a deputy there. 

Lt. Kevin Bobo said the sheriff’s deputies did not return fire on Roberts. 

He was arrested around 2 a.m. Aug. 19 and is being held in Spartanburg County Jail on charges of attempted murder, pointing/presenting a firearm, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and fugitive from justice.

UPDATE @ 1:20 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 17:

The U.S. Marshals and the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Task Force have joined Riverside police in the search for the suspect in Tuesday’s homicide of Robert Caldwell, Riverside Police Chief Frank Robinson said. 

Robinson said the ongoing search for Sterling H. Roberts has included interviews with his family members and those of Caldwell. Roberts is not charged with a crime. 

“We’re not at the point where we can formally charge someone at this point,” Robinson said, noting that Roberts has warrants for his arrest from prior incidents. 

Robinson said Roberts has ties to Nashville, Tenn., where his mother lives. 

“It’s my understanding he was in Nashville up until last week,” Robinson said. 

Persons who see Roberts should not engage him, Robinson said. 

“We still feel he’s armed and dangerous and in a desperate situation like this we don’t want anyone to make contact,” Robinson said. “I would say even friends and family should be leery of his actions at this point.”

UPDATE @ 3:02 p.m.: Riverside Police Chief Frank Robinson confirms they’ve officially identified Sterling Roberts as the suspect in the deadly shooting of Robert Caldwell.

Roberts whereabouts are unknown. According to a “Be on the Lookout” or BOLO put out by county dispatchers, Roberts may be driving a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse and carrying a .40-caliber handgun.

He is white, 6-foot-2, and has multiple tattoos. 

According to Montgomery County court records, an arrest warrant was issued for Roberts on Aug. 3 because he had not checked in with his probation officer. He was ordered to be arrested and held without bail. 

Roberts was sentenced May 31 to community control after being convicted of having weapons under disability - which means he was not supposed to carry a gun because of felony convictions on his record. 

RIverside Police Chief Frank Robinson is asking the public to call and identify the name of the man seen in surveillance video who is suspected of shooting and killing Robert Caldwell, 35, in front of Caldwell’s three sons, ages 15, 13 and 8.

Police believe they know the man’s identity, but want members of the public to independently ID him.

In an interview Wednesday before noon, Chief Robinson confirmed they are pursuing leads that the shooting may be connected to child custody issues involving Caldwell’s ex-wife.

“We are going to do some investigating with her phone,” said Robinson.

The chief said the shooter may have been following Caldwell on Tuesday before the deadly shooting.

“We understand the video that we have of the suspect in question, was on the property for some period of time,” said Robinson.

The Chief believes the shooter has left the area, but is urging the public to call his department to name the man in the surveillance video. Call 937-233-2080. 

UPDATE @ 10 a.m.:

A man killed in Riverside has been identified as Robert Caldwell, 35, of Beavercreek, according to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office . There is no preliminary cause and manner of death yet.

The suspect is involved in a relationship with the victim’s ex-wife, according to a Dayton police report. As well, the victim had just gained custody of his three children. 

The suspect Sterling Roberts had reportedly threatened the suspect previously, according to the police report.

UPDATE @ 9:30 a.m.:

Police have identified Sterling H. Roberts as the man wanted in connection to a homicide in Riverside Tuesday evening.

Police have identified Sterling H. Roberts as the man wanted in connection to a homicide in Riverside Tuesday evening.

The victim, who is from Beavercreek, knew Roberts, according to a Dayton police report.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is working to notify next of kin. 

EARLIER

Police have released a photo they said shows a person of interest in Tuesday night’s deadly Riverside shooting at the Claypool Building on Linden Avenue that left one man dead.

Shooting in Riverside on Linden Avenue
  • Man shot to death in front of 3 children
  • Call came into police as reported active shooter
  • Boy ran into Bob Evans and said his father had been shot
  • Police looking for “multiple people” in connection to shooting

 A middle-age man has been shot to death -- in front of his three children -- and Riverside police are looking for "multiple people," Maj. Matt Sturgeon said. 

"There could be multiple people involved," he said. "There are a lot of leads we are following." 

Sturgeon said police were dispatched to the 4134 Linden Ave. about 6 p.m. about a reported active shooter situation.

"Multiple calls were coming in that we had an active shooter on the grounds," he said. 

Police found one man, believed to be of middle age, shot to death in the parking lot of the office building, believed to be the Claypool Building. His three children were with him, the major said, and police released them to Montgomery County Children Services. 

An employee at the nearby Bob Evans, 1285 Woodman Drive, said a boy ran to the restaurant and told workers there that someone shot his father as he and his Dad were leaving the building. 

The employee at the restaurant, 1285 Woodman Drive, gave us this account before his manager ordered him to stop speaking to us. 

The employee said the boy told them he ran to the restaurant when the shooter walked toward his father and opened fire.

Sturgeon did not react to that directly, but said, "yes, unfortunately, the children were here." 

He declined to reveal their ages or why they were at the building with their father. 

When asked what he would say to Riverside residents because police are looking for at least one male armed with a silver handgun who fled on foot, Sturgeon said, "We're not going to ask citizens to do a whole bunch, unless they hear something that pertains directly to the case."

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