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Single dad fatally shot

Published: Wed, December 15, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Jeanne Starmack

and Denise Dick



A Warren man who was raising two children after the recent death of his wife is the victim in the city’s latest shooting death.

City police are investigating the death of Christopher V. Weston, 44, of Timberline Drive, Warren, at the Breaden Market on the South Side.

“We believe the victim may have been shot around noon,” said Capt. Rod Foley, chief of detectives. “He usually opened the store between 10 a.m. and 12.”

A neighbor across the street went into the store at 1026 Overland Ave. to buy groceries and use the telephone and found the victim behind the counter.

A police report said four shell casings from a .22-calilber gun were found in the store. Weston was shot twice in the back.

No neighbors reported hearing or seeing anything out of the ordinary, Foley said.

“The cold weather actually hurt us with that,” he said. “Nobody was outside because it’s too cold.”

Robbery is a possible motive, although police hadn’t determined Tuesday if anything was taken. They expect to have a better idea about that today, Foley said.

A police report said Weston’s jeans pocket was pulled out and his wallet was lying open on the floor near him. The cash register wasn’t opened, and it wasn’t known if there was any money missing from it.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 330-746-CLUE. Foley said callers may remain anonymous and are possibly eligible for a cash reward.

If the Mahoning County coroner’s office determines the death is a homicide, it would be the city’s 21st homicide this year. There were 23 homicides in the city at this time in 2009, which also was that year’s total.

Store owner George Rafidi said the victim worked for him for nearly four years and was the father of two young children as well as other children in Pennsylvania. Rafidi said the man’s wife died a couple of months ago.

“He was a good, hard worker,” Rafidi said. “He was like a scientist, like Einstein. He could fix anything.”

Rafidi, who had surgery Tuesday, said he told the man not to open the store Tuesday, but the man insisted.

“I told him, ‘Since you’re going to open, maybe I should have one of my friends come down there.’ He didn’t want one of my friends to come down there. He said, ‘I can handle this all by myself.’”

The neighbor who found the victim notified other neighbors, who called Rafidi, he said.

He said problems are rare at the store.

“I never had a problem there in my life,” Rafidi said.

Marie Fleming, the neighbor who found Weston, said he was lying on his side behind the counter and his pockets were ruffled.

“I wouldn’t stay in there by myself,” said Fleming, who went to another neighbor’s house and called police around 1:50 p.m.

She said she knew Weston as a handyman who’d done remodeling for Rafidi at the store and also did work for people in the neighborhood. She said he normally didn’t work behind the counter.

“He put screens in my house,” she said, adding that people paid him for his work to help him support his children.

“He was a very nice man,” Fleming said.

Fleming said she did not hear or see anything unusual before the shooting.

The neighborhood, she said, is fairly quiet, with mostly older people living there.

She said there have been robberies “every now and then,” with the most recent one Sunday while residents were at work. Someone kicked the door in at a Garfield Street home, she said.

Fleming said that when she moved into the neighborhood 10 years ago, it was more violent. She said neighbors worked “to rid it of violence” by staying alert and calling police.

She said she is not afraid to live there.

“Wherever you move, it’s violent now,” she said. “It’s all over.”

Nonetheless, she’s feeling unsettled. “I’ve been shook up all day,” she said. “I still see his face.”

She also realizes how close a call she had. “I could have been in there,” she said. “They could have shot me too.”


1cheybaby2(102 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

This World is So Sick. Kill A man who is raising 2 children after his wife died. I hope they catch your Cold Blooded no good for nothing piece of crap . You Deserve to Die For What You Did. God Bless Those Kids & Watch Over Them. This Is Horrible and i don't even know them. But I feel So Bad For Those Poor Kids, And The Father Who Worked so hard to take care of them. Your A sorry Coward to do that.

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2oldmillspice(160 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

The savages are at it again in Y-town. The killer(s) probly didnt know the victims cicumstances at home, regardless, public execution is in order . Will the powers that be ever wake up? Disgusting !

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3Traveler(606 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

We need to wake up and rewrite our laws to be quicker about justice for the victims and less about lawyers and endless appeals. We have made a system that provides no deterrence to help prevent crime. If we keep going down these path how soon do we think it will be before we have drug cartels/gangs running our city's like in mexico. We can take step now to changes our law. Like tougher sentencing, limit on appeals, No mistrials do to honest mistakes, tougher jails (our inmates have it nice that 80% of the world lives), and mandatory drug programs for any one with a drug problem. We can take these steps now or be forced to when we have no other choice to but to replace local cops with the national guard to reinstall order.

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

The SouthSide is an incubator for the subculture . Jay wants to divert the publics attention from his failure to put the hammer on the criminals by focusing the attention on those bad houses that need tore down .

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5Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Extremely disturbing and sad. God help the children. Referring to the criminal or criminals as cruel animals would be an insult to cruel animals.

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6Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

What a sad world we live in, when a innocent man, working for a living and raising his kids, has to die in this manner. It's so hard to believe that these savages have no respect for human life and to kill someone over anything they are nothing but sick,cowardly, pieces of human filth that don't deserve to breathe in this world. They need to rot in Hell.

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7Morrigan(83 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

RIP, Christopher.
This is the saddest thing I've heard in weeks. My heart goes out to these children who are now orphans, all because some low life scum decided he had the right to end a life. I can't imagine his fear as the gun was pointed at him. I'm sure his last thoughts were of his children.
I sincerely hope YPD is all over this one. Catch the worthless POS and execute him. No appeals, no pardons.

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8mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Everyone---please Pray for the children. The scum that did this need to be tracked down and killed like the filthy animals they are. No trial--no appeals--no nothing. The southside is nothing more than a war zone and it is not getting any better.

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9saddad(651 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

No trial eh..? I sure hope they arrest you for it mrblue.

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10joseph(55 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

He should be burned alive.

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11youngstown9256(8 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Once it is proven that this man was murdered in cold blood, take the guilty party behind a building and shoot them. Period. Don't waste our money on a trial, jail time, 3 meals a day, and a warm bed to sleep in at night. Forget the justice system because this just proves that people aren't SCARED of the justice system!

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12madman(50 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

The city of youngstown dos not care about you me or the man thay killed.ALL thay care about is how thay look when it comes tham to vote .We need new people to run this city vote tham out .we need to start at the top

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13redvert(2226 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

It is time for the National Guard to go thru this cesspool street by street and clean it up.

You are right madman, when election time comes the community will reelect the same scumbags!

The sad thing is that you can not really say what you think about the whole situation and still get published!

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14Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

This is horrible

First off in rendering my most sincere condolences to the victims children, family and friends. Where in reading of and now following this case there are a number of things that bear intrinsic investigation.

Where not to smite the news sources reporting details but there are a number of inconsistencies. But just enough information from what's reported by those news sources that can be correlated to form a time line and profile. Which can be vital to tracking down whom did this.

I'll not go into that as not to afford the culprit[s] any insight on how they'll be tracked. However, I'll be digging through all I read and whatever I hear and lending my assistance to defining, locating and identifying suspects. Where as tragic as this is, it doesn't sound like any happenstance ordeal and although details as sketchy right now.

However, I'm not new at this and putting all details together there's just enough to go on to form leads to finding who did it and track them down. Where evidence aren't always so obvious. However motives and time lines are exact sciences, that when correlated with meticulous skill culprits find themselves left amazed at how precise investigative forensics work.

Lastly, where not to advocate for the Mayor, or chef of police nor members of the patrol force. Yet just like responsibly expressing that I don't think any of us can seriously contend neither the Mayor of police chief or any PD cop are in anyway viable suspects here,.. so why malign them?

The reality here is it's unfortunate that police aren't and can't be on location everywhere. Thus it's vindictive, misguided and irresponsible to try casting blame towards any of them for this savage tragedy.

See what's certain is that now is no time for posturing in a counterproductive false finger pointing manner. Because whats indisputable here is there's now some children whom are now fatherless. Atop and beyond a community now missing who what all accounts given are reflecting was a good and helpful individual that was murdered,.. we have to track who did that.

That said lets collectively work together to listen and report what we hear or see. In a unified effort to have whoever that was behind this is snatched up most haste. See I'll damn sure be helping as much as I can and the only question of relevant importance here is will any and or all of you?

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15Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago


"When's the last time anyone saw a major drug bust in the Southside?"

That is 99.9% the problem.

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16lisa112572(1 comment)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

i knew his wife who died and his children..this is so sad..those poor little boys lost both parents in less then a year.

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17Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Soon it will be one year since Jamar Houser killed on the SouthSide . Nothing has become of it other than we are feeding and housing him . His friends see this and have no fear of retaliation for killing whomever they please . When this killer is caught he will get the best of care also .

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18nipsy(161 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I guess this blows the theory that "tearing down the blighted houses will reduce crime" as this area, if I am not mistaken, is just full of GREEN space due too the demolition's..

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