A midday shooting near one of the region’s fastest-growing areas left one man dead Monday and shut down part of Interstate 75 for hours as first-responders investigated.

A 64-year-old man died in the shooting that happened shortly after noon on I-75 south near the Austin Boulevard interchange.

Investigators found the man dead inside a vehicle on the side of the interstate, Miami Twp. police Sgt. Paul Nienhaus said.

“There was evidence to suggest the gunshots came from outside his car, and we did have some witnesses that we spoke to that said there was another vehicle … that someone inside had been shooting at this person,” he said.

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It was unclear the motive behind the shooting as of Monday afternoon, Miami Twp. Lt. Mike Siney said, but the department is committed to getting to the bottom of it.

The shooter’s vehicle continued south after the incident, Nienhaus said. Middletown police spotted a vehicle that matched the description and detained individuals with the vehicle.

No one faced charges in connection to the shooting as of Monday evening, and the three people detained are considered persons of interest and not suspects, Miami Twp. police said.

Numerous policing agencies responded to the shooting. I-75 south was closed for several hours while police investigated. The shutdown caused traffic to back up in the surrounding areas.

“We did have to shut the highway down for quite a while,” Nienhaus said. “Whenever you have a shooting or something like that, especially when there’s a death involved, there are numerous pieces of evidence, some obvious and some not-so-obvious, that you’re going to want to be looking for — in this case including gunshot casings and that type of thing. We did our investigation and kept it as timely as we could before we opened up the highway back up again.”

Nienhaus said officers retrieved both vehicles and that will be part of the investigation as well.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk said that the person of interest’s vehicle was spotted in by an officer on patrol who recognized it as matching the description being broadcast on emergency channels. The vehicle was observed at Logan and Crawford streets, the chief said.

A woman was in the vehicle, and others were sitting on the side of the road nearby, Birk said. The state patrol and Miami Twp. police officials then came to collect the vehicle and the people of interest, Birk said.

ExploreI-75 South shooting: 1 man dead, 3 ‘persons of interest’ detained

Photos from the scene show evidence markers scattered throughout the highway. A police dog was called to the scene to search for evidence, Siney said, and officers were thorough with their search.

“We retrieved physical evidence, we brought in a total station to map the location and map the crime scene, nothing was left or undone out there,” Siney said.

Some media outlets called the incident a shootout, however, Siney said witnesses reported gunfire from the suspect vehicle but did not report any return fire. He asked that anyone who was in the area during the shooting to contact police with any information they may have.

Staff writer Lauren Pack contributed to this story

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