Warren Twp. bar shooting victim identified

Lordstown and Warren police were called to the scene

1 person was shot and killed outside a Warren Twp. bar.

WARREN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – The investigation into a fatal shooting in Warren Township will continue Monday when police comb the area outside a bar on Highland Avenue.

Investigators are reviewing the scene at the J&L Lounge on Highland Avenue, where they said they found James Dotson, Jr., 33, after he had been shot at about 2 a.m. Monday.

When officers arrived, they said Dotson was lying in the parking lot. Police believe he ended up there after getting shot behind the building by someone who was waiting for him. Investigators think Dotson tried to walk back inside the bar, where a birthday party was going on, but fell in the parking lot. Emergency workers took Dotson to Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Warren Township Police Chief Don Bishop said it is unknown why Dotson was at the bar, because family members said he had no reason to go there. But, he said, it appears as if someone may have called him to the bar.

“We’re not getting too many people wanting to talk but a little bit more as we go on is coming out, that there was a situation going on between Mr. Dotson and some other group of people and it appears it goes back a long way,” Bishop said.

According to court records, Dotson was sentenced to five years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to charges including reckless homicide. The charges were related to the shooting death of 20-year-old Derek Thrash, who was killed in the parking lot of the Big Apple Convenient Mart on Oct. 3, 2009.

Dotson was on parole after his release from prison.

Police are still re-interviewing witnesses who were at the bar that morning, hoping to gather more information. Investigators haven’t named any suspects, and no one has been arrested in connection to the shooting.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that Dotson got out of prison just prior to Monday’s incident, when that has not been verified. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

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