Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Glendale residents not accustomed to violence

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

GLENDALE - Virginia Williams has lived a long, happy life here - long enough for her black hair to turn mostly white. She can tell you, this village and violence don't go together.

"I can't remember anything like this happening in my lifetime," Williams said Monday afternoon. Williams was speaking from the porch of her Church Avenue home, across from where Michael R. Combs was fatally shot Friday - the first homicide in this upscale, historic village in decades.

Violence is such a stranger to this community of 2,200 people, no one seems to recall the last time one person shot another. "But we have had suicides," Police Chief Matt Fruchey said.

Still, among streets lined with grand maples, 1800s-era homes and gas street lamps, "people are asking, 'Is it safe to go out?' " Fruchey said, adding, "Yes, it is."

Attorney Chris Pagan said he sensed more curiosity than fear when he stopped for coffee Monday morning at the Trackside Deli. "People were saying they think there's more to the story," he said.

Musician Sheri Lee, 31, out for a stroll in the Historic Village Shopping District, said people still feel they can safely walk the 1.7-square-mile village. But they're talking about the shooting, "because not that much goes on here."

Fruchey enlisted help from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Neither agency was saying much Monday, but Fruchey said the shooting did not appear random, as Combs and his attacker exchanged some words. Combs was shot around 11 p.m. Friday behind the small white house he had rented since July with his girlfriend, Lisa Baker, 26.

---E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com

Bronson: Riverfront still stuck in the mud
Good things happening
Korte: Inside City Hall

Voters deciding on levies, leaders
Officials to monitor election
More Election 2003 coverage
Where do I go from here?
How students fared; tips, web sites
Tristate soldier killed in Iraq
A last chance at summer
Glendale residents not accustomed to violence
Pizza robberies highlight danger
Thomas More center joins river research
Fix for U.S. 42 in Pisgah OK'd
Salvation Army hoping to get volunteer ringers
Villa Madonna boosters raise funds, honor school
Death threat to judge traced to inmate
Sewer digging damages home
Loveland residents' complaint thrown out
Regional Report

Ky. candidates make a last push
Campbell attorney proposes 'keg law'
Gov. Patton returns to work, says he's 'fine'
Anti-porn group publishes photos of patrons on Internet
Religious conference to feature Kennedy, Gandhi family members
KEES scholarships to be $3.3M short
Man indicted for carrying knife at Louisville airport