SIOUX CITY | Residents of Morningside say they were startled to hear a neighbor had been shot in his home Tuesday morning.

“It’s really surprising,” said Chad Flaugh. “This is a really quiet neighborhood.”

Ben Steffe, 66, was shot twice in the chest with a handgun in the bedroom of his home, at 4625 Applewood Ave., just before 7 a.m. His wife also was home at the time of the shooting but was uninjured, police said.

Eric Riley, 40, of Sioux City, who police say is a relative and business associate of Steffe, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with the shooting.

Steffe was taken to Mercy Medical Center -- Sioux City, where a report on his condition was unavailable due to a family request for privacy.

Riley is charged with one count each of attempted murder and first degree burglary.

A motive for the shooting has not yet been determined, said Sioux City police Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick. The handgun was recovered, he said.

Flaugh has lived across the street from Steffe and his wife since December. He said he learned of the shooting when the family’s live-in nurse came over Tuesday morning and told him what had happened.

Flaugh said the shooting caught him off guard. Although he’s lived in the area for less than a year, he said he hadn't heard of any serious crimes in that time.

Another neighbor, Bob Lewis, called Tuesday’s shooting “random.” In the 25 years he’s lived on Applewood Avenue he said he had never heard of a shooting in the area.

“A couple of years ago we had a couple of kids -- I think they broke into a car,” he said. “(The owner) left it unlocked and left some money on the dash and they got it, but nothing like this, oh no.”

Both Flaugh and Lewis agreed the crime likely won’t change the way they go about their lives in the Morningside neighborhood.

“I lock my doors every time,” Lewis said. “I always have, for 25 years. It’s just my habit of doing things. It’s not going to be any different than it was before, because we just don’t have a problem.”


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