Police probe slaying of man
By David Skolnick
The homicide victim, the ninth in the city this year, was shot in the chest.
YOUNGSTOWN — The homicide of a Youngstown man found with suspected crack cocaine near his body and on his person is suspected of being “drug-related,” Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said.
The victim was shot in the chest about 11 p.m. Thursday in front of a house on Samuel Avenue on the city’s South Side.
“We think he was an intended target,” Hughes said of the killing.
Police Capt. Kenneth Centorame said the homicide victim had five aliases and a criminal history. He is identified in police reports as Arthur Tyrone Mitchell, 31, of Crandall Avenue. That’s because of ID found on the body, Centorame said.
A positive identification of the body will be made by the Mahoning County coroner’s office. Officials there couldn’t be reached Friday by The Vindicator to comment.
Police haven’t made an arrest in the slaying, and there are no witnesses to the shooting, Centorame said.
“But we have some leads,” he said.
Police received a call at 11:03 p.m. Thursday about a shooting on Samuel, near South Avenue.
They found the victim lying face down in the road in a pool of blood with a clear plastic bag containing several rocks of suspected crack cocaine a few feet from the body, police said.
Another large rock of suspected crack cocaine was found on the body, police said.
“We suspect it’s drug-related,” Centorame said. “Whether he was the buyer, seller or bystander — we don’t know.”
When police arrived at the crime scene, they found two parked cars with bullet holes. Also, across the street from the body, police said they found a 9mm handgun in a pool of blood.
Test results are pending as to whether the victim fired the gun and if the blood found across the street came from him, Centorame said.
Police spoke to three people standing on the porch of a house across the street. The gun was found in front of this house.
The three told police they didn’t see what happened but heard about 10 shots. When they looked outside they saw the man lying on the ground.
It isn’t know how many times the victim was shot, Hughes and Centorame said.
“This is a relatively quiet neighborhood,” Centorame said of Samuel Avenue. “We don’t get a lot of calls for service in that area.”
The victim was pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.
He is the ninth homicide victim in Youngstown this year.
At this time last year, the city had 14 homicides.