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Friends of man killed in I-275 shooting seek answers amid self-defense claim

The shooter has not been charged in the incident police say started as a bout of road rage.
The shooter has not been charged in the incident police say started as a bout of road rage.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:17 PM EST
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COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - As investigators continue to try to figure out exactly what led up to a deadly shooting along I-275, friends of the man who died are pleading for more information about what happened.

Colerain Township Police believe Eric Duke, 47, was involved in a fender-bender crash along the interstate on Friday night. Investigators said the wreck turned into a road rage shooting when the two drivers confronted each other, and Duke was shot and killed.

“I just don’t understand how that kind of an accident could end up with somebody dead,” Lisa Bowlin, a friend of Duke’s, said. “It’s hurtful when nobody knows what happened, and you’ve got a loved one that’s gone.”

A 911 caller told dispatchers that the shooting was an act of self defense:

“911 please, a man just totally stopped in front and was trying to drag me out the car, and I freaking shot him because he was going to f****** hurt me.”

Bowlin said she needs to know more because in her eyes, Duke was not that kind of person. She described him as an active part of pride parades throughout the community.

“Very charismatic, larger than life, very helpful, very much a hard worker,” she said. “I just can’t imagine him being violent in any way, shape, or form.”

Bowlin said that people who did not know Duke personally are pointing to his past as a possible reason for what happened.

Records show he was sentenced to 60 months in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme dating back to 2010.

Bowlin said whatever Duke did then does not mean he deserved this kind of death now.

“Everybody has a past. Eric had a past, but he also paid for what he did, and it was a long time ago,” Bowlin said.

Although it is not clear what is next with the police investigation, Bowlin said all of Duke’s loved ones need to know more as they begin to try to grieve.

“Eric was loved by a lot of people. He’s no longer here to tell his side of the story. We need answers,” she said. ”I just hope that if wrongdoing was done here, that person is held accountable.”

The other driver has not been identified since that person has not been charged.

The Colerain Township Police chief is expected to speak about how to deal with road rage situations on Tuesday morning.

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