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Victim: ‘It’s just like pow, pow, pow, pow...’

Published: Mon, February 7, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.


Jamail E. Johnson, 25, of Youngstown, was killed during a shooting that injured 11 others early Sunday at 55 Indiana Ave. near YSU.

  Interview with YSU Shooting Victim

YSU student shooting victim, Tejohn Lawrence describing an off campus shooting early Sunday morning that left one YSU student dead.

YSU student shooting victim, Tejohn Lawrence describing an off campus shooting early Sunday morning that left one YSU student dead.




Dead and wounded

The Youngstown Police Department has released this list of the dead and injured from Sunday’s shootings in a house on Indiana Avenue near the campus of Youngstown State University. Six of the victims were YSU students. All are from Youngstown except one Girard victim. All but three had been treated and released from St. Elizabeth Health Center as of late Sunday afternoon.

Jamail Johnson, 25, 55 Indiana Ave., Youngstown, died from gunshot wound.

Durrell Richardson, 31, 410 Elruth Court, Girard, shot in left thigh.

Shavai Owens, 17, Youngstown, shot in right ear, critical condition late Sunday afternoon.

Jaleesa Moore, 20, Youngstown, shot in the arm and abdomen.

Sean Griffin, 20, Youngstown, shot in the foot.

Ebony Michel, 20, Youngstown, shot in the foot.

Jordon Wagner, 20, Youngstown, shot in the shoulder and foot.

Tejohn Lawrence, 19, Youngstown, shot in the foot.

Jamie Ruffin, 20, Youngstown, shot in the pelvis.

D’Anthony Brown, 17, Youngstown, shot in the foot.

Lisetle Encarnacion, 19, Youngstown, shot in the buttocks.

Selina Howard, 17, Youngstown, abrasion wound to the wrist.

By Lamar Salter and Doug Livingston

The Jambar


When shots rang out at a North Side party early Sunday morning, Youngstown State University freshman Jordon Wagner fell to the ground inches from fellow student Jamail Johnson.

While Wagner escaped the house, which was filled with the smell of gunpowder smoke and riddled with bullets, Johnson did not.

“Once I [got] back up to my feet, all I see is this young man laying on his face, with smoke coming out of his body,” Wagner said. “I don’t even think he saw it coming.”

Johnson, 25, was killed in the shooting, and 11 others, including Wagner and five other YSU students, were injured.

In the moments after Johnson fell in the doorway, a fleeing crowd of 35 to 40 people trampled Wagner. What he had hoped were merely warning shots had taken Johnson’s life and left Wagner bleeding from a wound.

“I didn’t know I was shot till I got to the car,” Wagner said. He exited the house through a back door, where blood stained the snow.

YSU freshman DeShaun McDonald arrived at the party at about 2:30 a.m. and described the atmosphere as calm until there was a fight.

“A bunch of people just started pushing each other,” McDonald said.

As the fight escalated, McDonald and a friend decided it was time to leave. Before they could exit, the shooter was pushed out of the house, only to immediately charge back in.

That’s when the gunshots began.

“As soon as we begin to move, all I hear, it’s just like pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. Like, at least 12 or more times,” McDonald said.

McDonald said he was patted down before entering the party, and he did not understand how the shooter was able to bring a gun.

As McDonald made his way to the exit, he and his friend ran into what they believe was the body of Johnson.

“We both end up looking down, and then we see the dude right there, and he is just laying there, just bleeding,” McDonald said, adding that a crowd formed around the body.

“They just wanted him to live.”

Witnesses said the altercation began when a woman pushed a bystander, inciting a group of eight partygoers to retaliate. The woman left at the request of a friend but returned roughly 10 minutes later with increased numbers.

“Everyone saw the gun,” Wagner said.

A man wearing a red skullcap and a green jacket brandished the gun in the house. After being forced outside, Johnson went to the door to defuse the situation.

Johnson’s efforts to maintain the peace cost him his life.

“It took a lot of bravery to break up a fight when a man [has] a gun,” Wagner said of Johnson’s final moments.

Two minutes after the man left the party, he turned to the doorway and fired at least a dozen shots into the house.

Wagner and others were taken from the scene to St. Elizabeth Health Center.


1foxyglo(372 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Well some ppl just like a distubance anyhow. If it was not done deliberatly (being pushed) the young woman should have just kept moving. If you are around a crowd of ppl , pushing, shoving, bumping will happen.Unless u want to be the center of attention.one dead and eleven others hurt because of one stupid person to make something out of nothing. And who did these dumb guys think they were to go and shoot up ppl and think they would not get caught. I am glad they got caught. Hope they do some good time.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope John Kaisch brings the National Guard & State Patrol with him when he visits Youngstown today. We wouldn't want anything bad to happen to him. I hope he commits state resources to solve the terrible crime problems in Ytown. We definitely need his help and support. Mayor Jay sure has been a failure at it.

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3Photoman(1101 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

A very sad day indeed! There are just too many factors involved in this case to say that it could have been stopped. People entering the party were patted down to eliminate the possibility of weapons being present but the criminals got their weapons and returned to commit the crimes. Once again the mostly good people were disarmed and the criminals had the weapons. No fingers should be pointed toward the university as their authority does not extend to off campus, private parties held at private residence.

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4QPsiKeith(8 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The real problem with college parties typically boils down to the individuals who are not students causing problems at the function. These two individuals were clearly not students at YSU

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5ascpgh(1 comment)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

These are preventable conflicts, it just takes the character of the organization to realize the university stance regarding non-students attending parties and the use of a guest list to control the exceptions.

Any fraternity is an attractive nuisance, it is up to the membership to realize their obligations to their campus community and conform even if it may seem socially restrictive. This is why that has been implemented on campuses since the '80s (I hope it is so at YSU).

The worst and frequently reinforced part is how the non-student riff-raff attracted by any particular fraternity propagates a dramatically over-emphasized, mostly incorrect, stereotype of that organization. So the YSU Omega Phi Psi house will now seem like a den of ghetto behavior complete with a retaliatory drive-by.

The only people worth representing any campus organization are students successfully studying and advancing toward degrees; those who are not or have flunked out do not belong. It is a huge shame that this event played out as it did for the dead, the wounded, the campus, community and all others touched by this criminal act.

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6fcb(417 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I heard one victim was a seventeen year old girl. What was she doing out at that time of night? Nothing good happens after midnight.

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7GPackwood(35 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

...McDonald said he was patted down before entering the party....!!

That's where the police need to start their investigation.

University students should not be planning any party at all if they know there is a need to 'pat' down their guests.

Shut down that house and go back to the drawing board on how to reduce the culture of violence starting with who is admitted to the university.

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8redvert(2196 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

GPackwood, you nailed it, what does it tell you about the culture of the area when you need to be patted down before you can enter a party? Why is a seventeen year old at a party at that hour. Lack of parenting! How long before she is on the Maury show looking for the daddy? Sugarcoat it all you want, it is obvious that Ytown has a problem just as many other cities have.

To be completely honest though, is anyone really surprised that something like this happened in Ytown, of course not. That is the sad part.

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9QPsiKeith(8 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I must correct myself, both the the suspects are listed as being YSU students... WTH?

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Shootings are a way of life in Youngstown . There is no area immune from the violence . Most shooters have no remorse for their actions . Life is cheap in The Valley . . .. Can we remove the gun specifications on the next arrest ? . . ..

FIREARM SPECIFICATIONS02CA116, 2004-Ohio-666 -- Burglar's theft of guns sufficient for conviction on firearm specification. State v. Jackson, 169 Ohio App. 3d 440, 2006-Ohio-6059 ...

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11lilgandee(103 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

It is the blacks killing people over the stupidest things. They want to be anywhere white poeple r or their called racist. Are there whites in. the NAACP or Ebony magazine When they can't have a party without violence and all the other violence in y' town why should we want them amoung us. I remember something a black man told me "there are high class black folks and there are your lowclass hoodlums" and y'town is full of the latter, which goes after the better class.

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