Man named as suspect in fatal shooting that left two dead at downtown Columbus nightclub

Orri Benatar and David Rees

11 minutes ago

You can see an earlier report in the player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A 26-year-old man is wanted on two counts of murder in connection with a fatal shooting at a downtown Columbus nightclub Friday morning.

Columbus police announced Saturday morning that an arrest warrant has been issued for Jaquez Hoover as a suspect in the deaths of Desmond Taylor, 27, and Ceilin Richard Peakes Smith, 36, at Aura (formerly Avalon Nightclub) in the 200 block of North Fifth Avenue at approximately 1:45 a.m. Friday.

Hoover is at large and police are asking anyone with information to call 614-645-4730.

When officers arrived at the scene, four victims were found with gunshot wounds. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:58 a.m., police said. Peakes Smith was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead at 2:45 a.m.

Two other adult victims were taken to local hospitals and are expected to recover from their injuries. Authorities said the incident stemmed from an altercation outside the club during which shots were fired. Police noted that many patrons were inside the club at the time of the shooting, and investigators are relying on witness statements for answers.

The shooting occurred just minutes after police were called to another shooting in southeast Columbus. Officers responded to a gas station around 1:40 a.m. Friday. One person was taken to a local hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.