An 18-year-old man who shot and killed a former Mahwah High School football standout at Ohio State University before dawn Sunday escaped police custody following a burglary arrest early this year, authorities said.
Kintie Mitchell Jr. fired at least five shots outside an off-campus frat house in Columbus, killing Chase Meola, 23, shortly after 2 a.m., they said.
Police found the unresponsive marketing major with Ohio State’s Fisher School of Business in a parking area next to the Phi Kappa Psi house. He was pronounced dead soon after.
They quickly took Mitchell into custody and charged him with murder and weapons offenses.
Police already knew him.
Officers arrested Mitchell earlier this year after chasing him down and finding him carrying a stolen high school class ring and key fob, among other items, they said.
They were about to take him to the Franklin County Jail that Feb. 13 night when he bolted from the basement garage at headquarters while handcuffed, authorities said. Officers quickly chased him down.
He was released and had remained free pending trial ever since, records show.
Sunday morning’s shooting stemmed from a dispute that broke out at a party that attracted a “huge presence of people.” police said.
“Individuals were asked to leave…and an altercation occurred outside,” they said.
Ohio State suspended its Phi Kappa Psi chapter in 2018 through August 2022 for hazing and endangering behavior, according to local media reports.
Phi Kappa Psi Executive Director Ronald K. Ransom II said Meola wasn’t a member of the fraternity and that its residences have been serving as boarding houses.
Mitchell reportedly has no apparent connection to the university.
“The Ohio State University community is in mourning, and our deepest condolences and support go to the family and friends of Chase,” the university said.
Meola was a running back, safety and free safety on the Mahwah High School Thunderbirds team that won the schools’ first sectional title in 34 years in 2015.
A GoFundMe campaign is raising funds to "help cover any and all costs related to Chase’s funeral and to support his family" and "will also serve as a kickstart to a scholarship fund the family is creating in Chase’s honor."
All donations will go to Dylan Meola, Chase's older brother, for his family to utilize, a GoFundMe spokeswoman said Monday.
"When a campaign is created to support another individual, funds are safely held and only transferred to the beneficiary of the campaign," she told Daily Voice. "In this case, we have reached out to the campaign organizer and will ensure the funds safely reach the Meola family."
GO TO: Chase Meola Memorial Fund
The slaying was the 127 homicide in Columbus this year.
The city has average 111 homicides a year the past five years, with a low of 99 in 2015 and a record 143 in 2017. There were 104 killings in Columbus all of last year.
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