CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A spokesperson for West Chester Township responded Tuesday afternoon to questions that have been raised about the killings of four people and any connection to the victims’ faith or nationality.
“At this point in the investigation, there is no reason to believe that this is a hate crime," said spokesperson Barbara Williams.
Her comments came in reaction to a series of tweets from an Indian government official.
Chowkidar Sushma Swaraj, who is identified on Twitter as Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, said the killings are not a hate crime.
Swaraj also said one of the four people killed was an Indian national on a visit to the U.S., while the other three victims were of Indian origin.
“We have been working closely to coordinate communication between the Government of India and the West Chester Police Department. Our prayers remain with the Cincinnati Sikh community during this tragic time,” said Daniel Rajaiah, Executive Director, Indian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.
Three women and one man were killed after multiple gunshots were fired at Lakefront at West Chester apartment complex off Wyndtree Drive.
The victims are Hakikat Singh Panag, 59, his wife Paramjit Kaur, 62, their daughter Shalinder Kaur, 39, and his wife’s sister, Amarjit Kaur, 58, the Butler County Coroner’s Office confirmed.
All four died of gunshot wounds.
West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog has said it does not appear the shooter is among the dead.
Sources tell FOX19 NOW that a gun was recovered from a lake at the apartment complex on Tuesday, but there’s no word if it is the weapon that was used in the slayings.
Herzog said Monday that this is still an active investigation and police are looking to identify a suspect at this time.