Gunbattle with cops turns deadly

The death caps a violent start to the new year in Youngstown.

By Ed Runyan

YOUNGSTOWN — Three city police officers fired on and killed a city man Sunday afternoon in a gunbattle with police outside of the Eastway Apartments near McGuffey Road on the East Side.

The man, identified by the Mahoning County coroner as Ferell Tutt, was “irate” when he went to the apartment looking for a woman, fired into one female’s apartment window from the outside and also went inside the apartment building and fired into apartments from the hallway, said Capt. Rod Foley of the Youngstown Police Department.

Tutt, about 30 years old, was upset over his relationship with a woman who lived there, and he went there looking for her, Foley said. He went into at least one of the apartments looking for the woman and confronted three or four people there at gunpoint about the woman, Foley said.

“He was asking where his girlfriend was at,” Foley said, adding that he also “shot her mailbox up.”

Fortunately, the woman was not there, Foley said, adding that, miraculously, no one except the gunman was hurt.

Three officers in separate police cruisers responded to the apartment, where they found the man in the parking lot holding a gun, Foley said.

“According to witnesses he was making threats, and some said he fired at officers. We’re trying to confirm that by taking statements,” Foley said.

The dead man had gone to the complex alone in a white Ford Explorer, Foley said.

Dr. David Kennedy, Mahoning County coroner, identified the dead man but said he didn’t know Tutt’s age or address. An autopsy will be performed today, Kennedy said.

A spokesman at the Youngstown Police Department said Sunday night more information on the shooting would be available today.

Tutt was pronounced dead at the scene. Foley said he didn’t know how many times Tutt was shot. A semi-automatic pistol was found beside his body.

The three officers who fired at Tutt will be offered time off to get counseling, Foley said, adding that time off is offered in such cases but not required. He said information on whether officers chose that option are not made public.

Meanwhile, Youngstown police are continuing to investigate the death of 30-year-old Dene Montgomery of 55 Wesley Ave. on the West Side, who was found shot to death in front of the front door of a house on the North Side Saturday evening.

A friend of Montgomery’s said he and Montgomery drove to the house at 232 Lora Ave. so that Montgomery could meet a woman. The witness saw a woman in the picture window. Montgomery went inside, and the friend heard two shots being fired, saw gun flashes and called 911 at about 9:30 p.m.

A gun was found next in Montgomery’s hand when police arrived. Montgomery was unresponsive when police found him, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police searched the house but didn’t locate the 45-year-old resident of the home, but he arrived later and spoke to police. The female was not located.

It is not yet known whether Montgomery fired his gun, Foley said. Tests will be conducted to determine that.

The friend who went to Lora Avenue with Montgomery said Montgomery asked him to come inside with him, but the man said he told Montgomery he would rather just stay in the car and listen to music. The gun shots occurred a few minutes later, he said.

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