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YOUNGSTOWN Boy, 16, arrested in death of teen



Published: Tue, May 8, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Witnesses identified the suspect, who had run from the scene on Birch Street.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- An argument between two teen-agers turned deadly in the 2200 block of Birch Street when one pulled a gun and fired several shots, police said.

Robert Spencer, 19, of Emery Street, was pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth Health Center at 9:55 p.m. Monday. He had been shot in the chest at 9:30 p.m.

A 16-year-old Williamson Avenue boy was arrested by Detective Sgts. Daryl Martin and Jose Morales at 12:30 a.m. today, after they questioned him at police headquarters downtown. The boy is in the juvenile justice center, pending arraignment on a murder charge.

Police found Spencer on the sidewalk near his South Side home with blood on his chest. He was barely alive and unable to speak, reports say.

From the crowd that had gathered, officers heard several yelling out the name of the 16-year-old suspect.

What was reported: Witnesses told police that the boy and Spencer had been arguing on Birch Street and the younger boy pulled a gun from behind his back after being punched in the chest by Spencer.

Spencer, doubled over from chest pain after being shot, made his way to the corner of Birch and Emery and collapsed. The shooter ran toward South Avenue, witnesses said.

Officers collected nine 9mm casings that had landed in the street near 2213 Birch.

Two of Spencer's neighbors on Emery heard what they first thought was fireworks. After four or five pops, they realized the sound was gunfire.

The neighbors said they didn't see the argument but did see five or six young men run toward South Avenue from the midblock of Birch. Within seconds, the neighbors saw Spencer come from the back yard of his home, holding his upper body.

Spencer is the city's 14th homicide victim and the second killing in five days. James Robinson, 24, of Stewart Avenue, was shot while a passenger in a car on Logan Avenue around 7 p.m. May 1 and died the next day.

At this time last year, the city had recorded 13 homicides.




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