Rome double homicide suspect located by K-9 unit

Aaron Welch

A man has been arrested in connection with a double slaying in Rome following a manhunt that locked down neighborhoods of Rome Tuesday morning.

Police say 22-year-old Stephanie I. Morrison, of Rome, was found dead and 31-year-old Shawn P. Kessler, of Camden, was found fatally injured inside a home at 319 Myrtle Street. Police have not said how they died.

The suspect was later identified 26-year-old Aaron J. Welch Sr. Welch is from Schenectady but is known to Rome Police for some minor offenses.

Detective Commander Timothy Bates of the Rome Police Department says Welch was acquainted with one and possibly both victims. Kessler died shortly after 11 a.m. at a hospital. Police later said Morrison is the mother of Welch's child.

Police were called to the scene around 6:19 a.m. During the search, police advised residents in the area of East Bloomfield Street and Myrtle Street to shelter in place while they searched for Welch, who they considered armed and dangerous.

Welchâ??s car was located early on within the search area and police used helicopters and vehicles to search the woods.

Police say a Rome Police K-9 unit led officers to the Welch inside the area they had surrounded. Welch was injured when police found him and was taken to a hospital.

All schools in Rome were in Lock Out mode during the search, meaning that students will not be allowed to be outside of the building for recess or physical education, according to the districtâ??s website

. All classes continued as scheduled. The district says they are taking extra precautions to ensure our students are safe and are strictly checking identifications at the entrance of each school.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

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