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Originally published Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM

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Police: Ohio highway gunfire leaves 2 dead, major route closed for several hours

Southbound lanes of a Cincinnati-area interstate were closed for several hours Wednesday morning while police searched for evidence after an early morning shooting left two people dead.

CINCINNATI —

Southbound lanes of a Cincinnati-area interstate were closed for several hours Wednesday morning while police searched for evidence after an early morning shooting left two people dead.

The shooting happened just before 3 a.m. on Interstate 75 about nine miles north of Cincinnati, according to police in suburban Evendale. The two victims, Keith Cobb and Scott Neblett Jr., both 25, of Cincinnati, were traveling south in a maroon SUV when someone in another vehicle heading the same direction fired at them, police said.

The SUV flipped and crashed into a guardrail, and the other vehicle left area, police said. Cobb and Neblett died at the scene. Police haven't been able to verify conflicting descriptions of the other vehicle.

Investigators shut down southbound I-75 for about eight hours as they combed the area for shell casings and other evidence.

"We found nine bullet holes in the car," Evendale Police Lt. Gregg Phillips said. "We have a crime scene that goes about three-tenths of a mile."

The shooting appears to have been prompted by an earlier dispute at The Garage Sports Bar & Grill in suburban Sharonville, about a quarter-mile from the scene, Phillips said.

Police haven't been able to determine if the men in the SUV fired back with a handgun they found in the vehicle.

The shooting was similar to one in May 2006 in which vans carrying rapper Clifford "T.I." Harris and others were shot at as they traveled south on I-75 after leaving a bar north of Cincinnati.

A member of the rapper's entourage, 26-year-old Philant Johnson, was killed. In November, 34-year-old Hosea Thomas of Cincinnati was convicted of murder in Johnson's killing and sentenced to 66 years to life in prison.

___

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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