Police closed off Rip Rap Road in Huber Heights Wednesday night after three people were wounded in shooting outside the Villa Tavern. STAFF/JIM NOELKER
Photo: Jim Noelker
Photo: Jim Noelker

Huber Heights bar shooting: ‘It’s not something we experience … very often’

Police name suspect and ask for public to call in information about him after three people are shot.

The band Ghost Town was entertaining about 250 people at the 6303 Rip Rap Road business when shots rang out about 10 p.m.

“The police know who it was,” Tony Allison said Thursday, as police continued to search for the alleged shooter, identified as Michael J. Prater, 33, of Dayton.

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“He shot one guy,” Allison said, identifying the intended victim as “Brandon.”

The other two victims were wounded in the ensuing chaos, according to Allison and Sgt. David Garlow of the Huber Heights Police Department.

Brandon Lee Wigginton, 34, was one of the three shooting victims shot in the leg in gunfire outside the tavern, according to reports and 911 calls.

Garlow confirmed Allison’s version of the incident and indicated the public “outside of those involved” should not be concerned for their safety.

Anyone with information about Prater should call Huber Heights Police at 937-233-9565 or 911, Garlow said.

He indicated the shooting was the result of what he called an earlier altercation and acknowledged it was unusual for this Dayton suburb.

“It’s not something we experience in Huber Heights very often,” Garlow said during a brief press conference. “The main issues we have down there are speed and parking.”

A fourth victim was treated for a medical condition after the shooting.

As 911 calls came in, dispatchers were concerned the shooting could be continuing.

“We may have an active shooter,” a dispatcher said.

Other witnesses indicated the shooter had left the scene.

One 911 caller described the shooter as a bald, white male with a goatee who drove off in a silver-blue car.

“He walked right up into the crowd with the band playing,” said one of a half-dozen 911 callers, some who had been wounded.

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“He took off in a car,” the caller said. “He pulled up, was on foot and he took off and got a car.”

Another caller said after the shooting he heard a Harley Davidson motorcycle throttled into motion and drive off, but told the dispatcher he was unsure if that was the shooter.

“I just heard a bunch of revving going on after I heard about six to seven shots,” the caller said. “I heard pow, pow, pow.”

The victims have been identified as Christopher L. Babb, 43; Anthony Pagan, 42; Dallas E. McCarroll, 53; and Wigginton. McCarroll was not shot.

One of the 911 callers, screaming over the chaos outside the tavern, told police they were among the wounded.

“Multiple gunshot injuries. I have been shot in the knee,” the caller said, while also communicating with someone about the leg wound.

Rip Rap Road was closed during the investigation, but reopened Thursday morning.

“There will be a lot of people to interview,” Huber Heights Lt. Matt Dulaney said.

Babb was listed in fair condition at Grandview Medical Center, according to a Kettering Health spokesperson.

Pagan and Wigginton were patients at Miami Valley Hospital, said a hospital spokesperson, but their conditions were not released.

Dayton police were also on scene, helping with the investigation.

A police dog searched for evidence in a grassy area near the business and where the band had been performing.

In February, Allison told WHIO-TV he was worried someone would be hurt by traffic speeding along the busy street, just south of the Chambersburg Road intersection, on Huber Heights’ west side.

On Thursday, Allison said the incident was the first shooting in 12 years he had owned the Villa.

“I’ve got a fun and friendly bar. Somebody tried to ruin it,” Allison said.

WHIO TV reporter Mike Campbell contributed to this report.

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