Errant gunfire has East Siders on edge

The Vindicator (Youngstown)


Some homes on Bauker Lane, the small East Side street where gunfire erupted last week leaving some longtime residents feeling trapped in their homes. Police are investigating, but have made no arrests in the shooting.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


Gunfire in an East Side neighborhood last week sent one man to the hospital with multiple wounds, but residents in the neighborhood say they, too, are victims.

Kirstin Gibson said some of the bullets fired that Thursday morning missed their mark and ended up in the walls of her 65-year-old mother’s Bauker Lane home.

She said the family has lived on the street for more than 36 years and for the first time felt like prisoners in their home.

“My mom was literally trapped in her house because a bullet came through the front door and hit the garage, damaging the garage door so that it would not open,” Gibson said. “I am upset because these are all elderly retired citizens here, and for someone younger to come in and do this is just not right.”

Geraldine Crenshaw, 62, said she and her 72-year-old husband have been residents on the street for more than 37 years, having reared their children and retired in the same location. She has counted six bullet holes in the front outside wall of her home and 10 more bullet holes inside the home.

Gibson said the street consists of only about six houses, but the neighbors all have been in the neighborhood for years and never had to experience gunfire or danger while at home.

Crenshaw said she was watching television when the gunfire erupted, and one bullet hit the wall less than 3 feet from her head. She said her husband was in another room sleeping when a bullet hit the wall not far from where he lay.

“It was something like we have never heard before out here. I told my husband to hit the floor, and I dialed 911. When I think about it, it makes me want to cry, thankful that we are alive,” she said.

Crenshaw said she also is happy the children inside the car were not hit by the flying bullets. She and Gibson said they feel as though the security they once felt in their neighborhood has been taken away.

A 26-year-old man told police he was at the intersection of Bauker Lane and Jacobs Road with his children about 6:30 a.m. Feb. 10 to pick up his estranged wife, who had been visiting a friend. The man said someone came out of a house in the 2200 block of Bauker and began shooting.

The victim was shot in the thigh and had flesh wounds to his face and chest from bullets that hit the car he was driving. His children weren’t injured.

Police recovered multiple shell casings leading from the front of the house to its side.

Detective John Patton said police have spoken to the victim and his estranged wife about the incident. He said no clear suspect has been identified.

“The investigation is not closed yet. We will keep talking to them and some of the people in the neighborhood,” Patton said. “Hopefully, someone comes forward with additional information.”

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