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IPD: Drugs a factor in deadly altercation

The investigation into an early morning altercation on Saturday that left one man stabbed to death and another man shot and in guarded custody at a local hospital is ongoing. Authorities said on Sunday the crime is likely drug related.

“At this point in the investigation it appears drugs are the reason for the confrontation,” Det. Joe Ross, of the Ironton Police Department, said.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Saturday Ironton Police and Lawrence County EMS responded to a call from a distraught female at 717 1/2 Ashtabula St. Upon arrival, police discovered the fatally stabbed body of Anthony Ridley, 60, of Columbus, in the house. Ross said the female caller was also in the house along with two small children who were sleeping in another room.

At approximately 3:44 a.m. 911 received a report that a male, Josh Thompson, 31, of Wheelersburg, was at a residence in the 2800 block of South Ninth Street asking for help.

Ross said statements taken at the scene allege Ridley and Thompson began arguing about drugs and during the confrontation Thompson allegedly stabbed Ridley and Ridley allegedly shot Thompson, Ridley died from his injuries.

Thompson is in guarded custody at a local hospital and has not been charged as of press time.

Agencies assisting the IPD were the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office, the Coal Grove Police Department and the Ohio State Patrol.