South Side house riddled with bullets

By Katie Seminara

Arguments among relatives led to one woman’s being shot and one house shattered by more than 40 gunshots.

YOUNGSTOWN — A family feud that sparked gunfire earlier in the week is likely to continue in a South Side neighborhood, police said.

Although Cleveland Street is generally quiet, police said a Monday night shooting and Tuesday’s early-morning gunfire might signal the start of ongoing trouble.

Two households of relatives on Cleveland Street have had recent ongoing arguments.

Natasha Shuler, 29, was grazed in the stomach by a bullet after a confrontation with her 14-year-old male cousin around 6 p.m. Monday, police said. Shuler was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center for treatment of a minor injury.

However, the shooting didn’t stop after the 6 p.m. incident.

At 1 a.m. Tuesday, about 10 shots were fired at the house at 161 Cleveland St. and then more shots were fired at 4:30 a.m, police said.

A neighbor reported that two men were outside the house firing, said Detective Sgt. Ron Rodway.

“The majority were from an AK-47 assault rifle,” he said, adding no one was in the house when it was fired upon upward of 50 times.

“This is one of the worst cases of a house being shot up I’ve seen,” Rodway said. “The house was just riddled with bullets.”

The neighboring house of 44-year-old Lori Tomlin was also hit with bullets, one shot entering the house, police said.

Two well-known churches also neighbor the location of the shoot- out. New Bethel Baptist Church on Hillman Street and St. Patrick’s Church on Oak Hill Avenue are situated at either end of a stretch of Cleveland Street.

The Rev. Kenneth Simon of New Bethel heard some commotion and then saw someone shooting while he was entering the church Monday night.

“It’s frightening in the sense that some people were outside and sometimes kids are playing outside,” he said. “It gives the city a black eye with all the positive things going on.”

The Rev. Mr. Simon said he and the Rev. Edward Noga of St. Patrick’s are working to establish a block watch for their neighborhood and have always been active in their community.

“Our churches are here to stabilize neighborhoods and to be a beacon of hope,” he said.

New Bethel has about 1,000 members and completed an addition in 2003.

It’s a fixture in the community that isn’t moving, so the church reaches beyond its walls, Mr. Simon said.

The majority of the community members are law-abiding citizens, he said.

“You don’t know what fuels these things, but you can try to impact families and areas in your community in a positive way,” Mr. Simon said.

Police have made no arrests, but are looking for the 14-year-old boy and his mother.

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