Man Who Allegedly Shot Nick Lachey's Bar Employee Surrenders to Cincinnati Police
The man suspected of allegedly shooting Nick Lachey's bar employee in the face surrendered to Cincinnati police
The man who allegedly shot singer Nick Lachey‘s bar employee in the face surrendered himself to Cincinnati police Thursday night, PEOPLE confirms.
Lavoris Hightower, 36, was indicted by the Cincinnati Police Department for “attempted murder, felonious assault, weapons under disability and tampering with evidence.”
Police released a photo of Hightower on Thursday, saying he was a wanted suspect in the shooting of Ellie Richardson, who was shot on Thanksgiving morning as she was leaving the sports bar.
Hightower’s attorney, Clyde Bennett II, tells PEOPLE his client “voluntarily surrendered” himself to police after he and his family learned of the indictment.
“My client is not guilty of the offense,” Bennett says. “My client says he was not there at the time of the shooting and there has not been any evidence to support that he is guilty.”
Richardson, 27, was walking across the street from Lachey’s Bar when she was nearly hit by a van, a spokesperson for the police department told PEOPLE at the time.
The employee and the driver got into a verbal argument before she was shot in the head by the driver at about 3 a.m.
The spokesperson told PEOPLE the suspect was driving a maroon Chevrolet Express 1500 conversion van.
In a health update to her Facebook page, Richardson is said to be recovering well.
“The swelling has subsided drastically, and the bruising around her eyes is nearly gone,” the update read. “The surgeons are confident she is progressing well enough to continue her recovery from home for the next few days. We will continue to update on Ellie’s condition, including the upcoming surgery next week to repair her cheek bone, eye socket and a few other fractures. Thank you again for your unwavering support. #elliestrong.”
A message from Richardson was also shared to her YouCaring page, in which she thanked “everyone for all of the generous thoughts, donations and prayers that have been sent my way.”
“Words can’t begin to describe how grateful I am for all of you! I truly believe that all of the positivity has helped me recover as quickly as I have,” the message read. “I still have a long road ahead of me, and one more surgery to go, but things have been moving along at a miraculous rate.”
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Richardson revealed she was home and happy to “spend time with my boys and family.”
“It has been truly amazing to see this community pull together in such a time and do this for me,” she said. “I will spend the rest of my life figuring out a way to show you all how blessed I feel! I can’t thank you all enough for your patience with me getting back to you! I will do my best to keep you all updated on my next surgery and my future progress! Thank you all I love you so much💜 #elliestrong”
Lachey and his brother, Drew, have asked the public for help in donating to her medical expenses on YouCaring, which has so far raised over $59,000.
“Ellie is the brightest light and she will find a way to shine through this darkness,” Lachey tweeted in late November. “Anyone with any information, help us find some justice.”
Drew tweeted, “As some of you may have heard, Ellie was the victim of a vicious assault. If u have any info about it please contact the authorities or u can help her on her recovery by donating. Thank you and please keep her in your prayers.”