Police find guns after tracking car to house
Police encountered several felons and made one arrest.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Two loaded handguns were found hidden, one under a rock and one under a trash can, when police checked out gunfire they heard in the 2500 block of Oak Hill Avenue.
The gunfire was first heard in the area of Indianola Avenue and Hillman Street around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. A witness told police that shots were being fired from an older model dark blue Oldsmobile.
The car was spotted by police in a driveway on Oak Hill with four young men near it but they'd gone by the time officers turned around.
The vehicle was still warm and "smelled like it had been running hard," Patrolmen Michael Quinn and Joe Moran said in their report. The car apparently slid in the mud, as if it had pulled into the driveway at a high rate of speed, the officers said.
The car had been left with its windows down, and police found a spent .40-caliber shell inside.
Officers knocked on the door and were told by a 23-year-old West Hylda Avenue man who answered that he had no idea who owned the car. A check revealed the vehicle is owned by his mother.
Police then found a loaded .45-caliber handgun under a rock near the Oldsmobile and a loaded .40-caliber pistol under a trash can. The weapons were taken and will be checked for fingerprints.
Convicted felons at scene
Quinn and Moran spoke to three boys -- 13, 15 and 17 -- and four men at the scene, including the one who answered the door. Of the adults, three are convicted felons and one of the three is out on bond pending indictment on a gun charge, records show.
The fourth adult, Eric Coffer, 23, of East Florida and Brooklyn avenues, was wanted on a warrant for his failure to appear in municipal court for a probation violation hearing. He's on probation until July for driving under suspension and on probation until March 2008 for receiving stolen property, which had been reduced from a felony after the charge was filed in February 2006.
Coffer appeared in municipal court Thursday and was given a new probation violation hearing date of Feb. 15.
Next Friday, he's scheduled to be sentenced in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for receiving stolen property and attempt. Coffer pleaded guilty in October 2006.
The case is from July 2006 -- five months after the first unrelated receiving stolen property charge was filed in municipal court.