Police searching for van connected to shooting outside Lachey's bar

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Police have released a description of a van believed to be connected to a shooting outside a popular area of Over-the-Rhine last week.

A suspect was driving a Chevrolet Conversion van when he fired at an employee outside Lachey's bar on Thanksgiving morning, according to Lt. Steve Saunders. 27-year-old Ellie Richardson was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to her face.

Saunders on Monday said the shooting should not deter people from visiting the OTR area.

"People should feel safe and comfortable going to the bars and restaurants in the area," Saunders said.

Investigators believe Richardson and the driver engaged in a verbal altercation before the suspect fired his weapon.

"It's not a random occurrence, it's a rare occurrence but not necessarily random. There was some type of interaction between the driver and Ms. Richardson when she was out on foot when she was shot," Saunders said.

It's not clear what prompted the confrontation, but Saunders said he does not believe the suspect had been inside Lachey's bar that night.

Investigators are making progress and following up on tips, Saunders said. He urged anyone with information about the suspect or vehicle to call police.

Police said the maroon van was likely made between 1995 and 2002.

"We know it's [the suspect] a male African American believed to be in his 20s, medium build and a light beard. He was also wearing glasses at the time," Saunders said.

Brothers Nick and Drew Lachey encouraged their Twitter followers to donate to a YouCaring account set up for Richardson's medical bills.

"Ellie is the brightest light and she will find a way to shine through this darkness. Anyone with any information, help us find some justice," Nick wrote on Twitter.

The Lacheys opened their namesake bar in 2015. It is located at 12th and Walnut streets.

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