Home News Officer-Involved Shooting in Whitehall: One Suspect Killed in Gunfire

Officer-Involved Shooting in Whitehall: One Suspect Killed in Gunfire


WHITEHALL, OH – Chief Crispen of the Whitehall Division of Police has disclosed a concerning incident that unfolded in the early hours of Friday, April 19, 2024. At approximately 2:00 AM, two Whitehall officers responded to reports of gunfire emanating from the vicinity of East Main Street & South Hamilton Road, near the Roses Store parking lot. Coincidentally, the Flock Gunshot Detection System also alerted officers to gunshots in the same area.

Upon arriving at the Roses parking lot, officers encountered a silver Honda Pilot and observed another dark SUV fleeing the scene. As they approached the Honda to investigate, they discovered two Hispanic males in the front seats. Despite a language barrier, officers noticed a handgun within the vehicle.

Chief Crispen recounted the ensuing events, stating that officers instructed both occupants, in both Spanish and English, to raise their hands. While the driver complied and was safely removed from the car, the passenger refused to comply with orders. Instead, the passenger made a sudden movement towards the handgun and then back towards the officer. In response, officers discharged their firearms, resulting in the passenger, identified as Santiago Elias Alfaro Munoz, age 36, being shot.

Despite attempts at life-saving measures, Munoz was transported to Mt. Carmel East Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile, the driver, identified as William Morales Villatoro, age 35, was apprehended and charged with one felony count of Improper Handling of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle. He was subsequently turned over to the Franklin Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Crispen emphasized the gravity of the situation, remarking, “This was a dangerous but tragic situation. Officers are trained to respond to threats of violence, especially when guns are involved.”

The Whitehall Police Department has transferred the investigation to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Further details will be provided as the investigation progresses.