Sheriff: Suspect in custody in deadly shooting outside Jefferson Twp. bar

A suspect is in custody in connection to the deadly shooting of a security guard last month outside Napoleon’s Bar in Jefferson Twp.

Sheriff Rob Streck provided an update on the investigation Tuesday afternoon. The is held on drug charges. Streck said the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office requested investigators get more information before murder charges can be filed.

“They are just asking for a few things to shore up the evidence that we’ve presented at this time,” Streck said.

On Jan. 29 deputies were called to Napoleon’s Bar at 4150 Germantown Pike around 2:50 a.m. and found 30-year-old Darnell Pate dead with an apparent gunshot wound inside a vehicle.

Pate worked in law enforcement for multiple departments in Southwest Ohio.

Pate served briefly as interim chief of the New Vienna police department in Clinton County, and also worked for police departments in Addyston, on the west edge of Cincinnati, and in New Holland, near Washington Court House. According to WXIX in Cincinnati, he was terminated from his roles with Addyston and New Vienna. According to WHIO, New Holland officials said Pate was a fine officer serving in a reserve role in 2022-23.

Detectives discovered a stolen car abandoned in the area shortly after the shooting that had evidence inside. Streck declined to elaborate what kind of evidence was found.

“We do know that individuals were lying in wait for Mr. Pate and that is why it was said to be targeted,” Streck said. “We don’t know the exact reason for the targeting, but we do know this was planned and people were waiting for Mr. Pate to leave the business and go to the vehicle.”

It is not clear whether additional arrests or suspects are expected to be charged in the shooting.

Deputies arrested a 25-year-old man on Feb. 14 on Palisades Drive in Harrison Twp. for felony warrants related to aggravated possession of fentanyl and illegal conveyance, Streck said.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit conducted a search warrant at the residence where the man was arrested. Investigators reported finding a loaded handgun, methamphetamine and drug packaging materials.

The man was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on drug charges, as well as a preliminary murder charge in connection to Pate’s death.

When the sheriff’s office presented charges to the prosecutor’s office on Feb. 16, the prosecutor’s office requested additional information in the murder investigation, Streck said.

“At this time all means are currently being exhausted to keep (the suspect) in custody, including the possibility of additional charges for the items that he was found with at the time of this last arrest,” the sheriff added. “We are doing this because we are confident about his involvement in the Pate murder and we do believe he is a risk to this community.”

The Dayton Daily News is not naming him because he has not been formally charged in Pate’s death.

The sheriff said the suspect has a history with the department and has not been cooperating with the investigation.

He is facing drug possession and conveyance charges in Dayton Municipal Court. His bond on Friday was set at $50,000.

The sheriff’s office is continuing to work with the prosecutor’s office to gather enough evidence for murder charges to be presented to a grand jury.

Anyone with information related to the shooting can call Montgomery County Regional Dispatch at 937-225-4357 or Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-STOP (7867).

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