Man wounded by cop killer in 2003 found shot to death


STAFF REPORT

YOUNGSTOWN — The man once wounded by cop killer Martin Koliser Jr. has died after being shot early New Year’s Day.

Donell Rowe, 29, of East Avondale Avenue, died late Tuesday, according to the Mahoning County coroner’s office. Rowe is the city’s first homicide of the year.

He was found lying on the ground near a sport-utility vehicle that had crashed into a porch in the 1100 block of Ivanhoe Avenue around 7 a.m. Jan. 1. He was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Capt. Kenneth Centorame, chief of detectives, has said investigators believe Rowe was shot once in the left side by someone he knew, who was also in the SUV. Rowe took the SUV belonging to his girlfriend without permission and she reported the unauthorized use to police around 3 a.m. New Year’s Day, police said.

Rowe made news April 29, 2003, when he was shot at 12:15 a.m. by Koliser during an argument outside Casa Loma Gardens, a bar on Mahoning Avenue. Patrolman Michael T. Hartzell, who had been sent to the shooting scene, was later shot and killed by Koliser.

The officer was in his cruiser at a traffic light at West Federal Street and Vindicator Square at 2:19 a.m., heading back to the police station to finish reports, when Koliser approached and opened fire. Koliser and Hartzell had both ended up at the red light, just two blocks from the police station.

Koliser, who was later sentenced to death, committed suicide in prison.

In April 2006, Rowe was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault with a firearm specification and having a weapon under disability, which means he wasn’t allowed to have the gun because he has been convicted of a crime. Vindicator files show Rowe and another man became involved in an argument near South Heights and Sheridan avenues Dec. 10, 2005, and Rowe shot the man in the abdomen.

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