Youngstown cops have leads in Chaney student's killing

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Brandon Adkins


John R. Swierz, left, Youngstown’s 7th Ward councilman, takes part in the I.C.U. Block Watch meeting, which took place Monday night at The Metro Assembly of God youth facility on South Avenue. The weekend killing of a city teenager dominated the discussions at the meeting.


Jajuan Adkins-Holland, 20, of Youngstown is the cousin of 16-year-old victim Brandon Adkins, a Chaney High School sophomore who was shot and killed late Saturday night on South Avenue. Adkins-Holland spoke Monday night at a meeting of the I.C.U. Block Watch, one of 14 block-watch programs in the 7th Ward.

Youngstown police have leads in killing of Chaney High sophomore


and John W. Goodwin Jr.


Relatives of a 16-year-old shot to death Saturday night on South Avenue paid tribute to the victim Monday and asked the I.C.U. Block Watch and the community to help raise money for his funeral.

Brandon Adkins, of 372 E. Philadelphia Ave., was found by police gunned down in the driveway of a house at 3124 South Ave., surrounded by a large crowd. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.

Police are following leads and hope to arrest a suspect by the weekend in the killing of the Chaney High School sophomore.

The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Adkins on Monday, revealing that he died of a gunshot wound to the back and a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

In the Metro Assembly of God youth facility where the block-watch meeting took place Monday night, Jajuan Adkins-Holland, cousin of the victim, described his close relationship with Brandon.

“He was like a brother and a best friend. He was somebody you’d always want around you.”

Family friend Rachel Raver told those attending that it would cost $5,000 to bury Adkins.

A resident of the South Avenue home where Adkins was found told police she was awakened by several gunshots and came downstairs to find Adkins in the driveway.

Officers did not get a response from anyone in the crowd when they asked for witnesses. People at the scene, however, did tell police that Adkins had been “beefing” with several other males who spent time around a neighborhood store.

Capt. Rod Foley said police believe a previous altercation may have led to the shooting. He would not say what that altercation involved, but said police are looking into it.

“Over the last 48 hours we have made some serious progress in this case, and we have a few things we are working on today, so hopefully we have enough to make an arrest here by the end of the week,” said Foley.

But for the family, there are still questions.

“Every time I walk down South Avenue, I see a police officer,” Adkins-Holland said. “I just don’t understand why they weren’t riding around then.”

Brandon Adkins was “a great godson,” said Carlton Lillard, Adkins’ godfather. “This kid was turning his life around.”

The family is planning a fund- raiser car wash at Step It Up Cuts on South Avenue. Also, donations can be made to Washington Funeral Home, 2234 Glenwood Ave.

The 3124 South Ave. address where Adkins was found is the address of a teen arrested for murder in 2010.

Police say Danny Williams, 15, of the South Avenue address, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in juvenile court in the August shooting of 17-year-old Terrance T. Howard, a cousin to Adkins.

“He had R.I.P. Terrence tattooed on his arm,” Adkins- Holland said. “They were like best friends.”

According to police reports, officers were sent to the area of Lucius Avenue, Cottage Grove and Hilton Avenue on Aug. 29, 2010, for several juveniles fighting after a teen party on Lucius Avenue. Police say Howard was shot in the chest during the melee and managed to run away before collapsing behind a large bush on East Ravenwood.

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