Prominent Greater Cincinnati businessman dead in I-75 road rage shooting

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 5:09 AM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2023 at 1:28 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A prominent Greater Cincinnati businessman with more than four decades in the automobile industry is the victim of a road rage shooting on Interstate 75, police confirm to FOX19 NOW.

Officers responded to the northbound lanes of the highway near Mitchell Avenue just after 8 p.m. Saturday for a vehicle crash with injuries. They found 70-year-old Michael Sweeney shot in the head.

He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died Monday, according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office and his online obituary.

The suspect fled the scene north on I-75 in a sedan -- possibly a Chevrolet or Nissan -- with heavily tinted windows, damage to the right side and temporary plates.

No arrests have been announced.

About 90 minutes after the shooting, another vehicle crash was reported and further congested traffic in the northbound lanes, a copy of the crash report shows.

The interstate was shut down for nearly three hours.

Police contacted the Ohio Department of Transportation to see whether one of their highway cameras captured video and an image of the driver and vehicle.

“It’s just unbelievable how reckless and irresponsible people are for the regard of their fellow man,” Cincinnati City Council member Scotty Johnson said Monday.

Johnson is chairman of the council’s Public Safety & Governance Committee. He also described the incident as a road rage.

“You could have killed innocent people that had nothing to do with the incident. This type of reckless disregard for one another is completely unacceptable.”

Anyone with information about Sweeney’s shooting is urged to call the Cincinnati Police Homicide Unit at 513-352-3542, or Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

Sweeney’s funeral will be Saturday, according to his obituary.

It says he was the son of the late Tom and Mary Joan Sweeney and leaves behind a large family. He was the father of four grown children and an “adored uncle to 32 nieces and nephews.”

Sweeney attended Cardinal Pacelli grade school and St. Xavier High School where he was recognized as a “Cincinnati Enquirer All-Star” for his achievements in football, according to his obituary.

The high school releases a statement on his passing:

“He loved all sports, especially watching football and golf, and listening to the Cincinnati Reds on the radio. He also enjoyed watching his children compete in all their multiple sporting events – swimming, diving, football, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and track and field (just to name a few).

“Following in his father’s and family traditions, Mike was in the automobile business for over 40 years. He loved cars and would often ask his children to join him for a drive,” his obituary continues.”

“Kind to everyone, Mike was often surrounded by his family and friends. He loved sharing a good joke, especially one with a head-turning punchline, followed by a snap of his fingers.”

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Holy Spirit Center; 5440 Moeller Ave., Norwood, OH 45212, or St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church; 7754 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH, 45236 or St. Xavier High School, 600 W. North Bend Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45224.

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