Chief Foley remains determined to curb gun violence in the city

Chief Foley remains determined to curb gun violence in the city

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


With five murders in 22 days and a Monday shooting that sent two men to the hospital, Youngstown Police Chief Rod Foley said the department will continue all efforts to curb gun violence in the city and ensure the safety of residents.

Tequon J. Sharpe, 20, of East Judson Avenue was found shot in the head Saturday with his infant daughter crawling near his body. The next day, Jack T. Manigault, 40, of 23 E. Avondale Ave. was shot in the head and killed in what police believe to have been a lovers’ quarrel.

Joshua T. Davis, 17, of 135 Willis Ave. was found shot in the left cheek and upper right groin in front of his home Sept. 17. Quest Waggoner, 22, of Inverness Avenue was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head on a living-room couch in his home Sept. 22. Two days later, Duane L. Colvin, 32, of East Florida Avenue was found dead in a field Sept. 24.

Police are also now investigating a South Side shooting that took place Monday afternoon in the 500 block of East Lucius. One man was shot in the leg, and another man was shot in the chest.

Both men were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, with one man listed in critical condition as of Monday night.

Police confiscated a video camera on which part of the shooting was captured. The footage is being held as evidence.

Police have made arrests in the Waggoner and Manigault murders, and those suspects are awaiting court dates.

Foley said police do not believe that any of the recent murders are directly related. He said the goal is to catch those with guns before they have the opportunity to commit violent crimes.

The chief said the department, this past weekend when two of the murders were committed, conducted another enforcement sweep to catch illegal drivers and those carrying illegal firearms. The enforcement effort included the Ohio State Highway Patrol and a dozen Youngstown police officers working overtime.

“We did another sweep trying to catch people riding around in their cars with guns. We are out there doing everything we can, everything we have always done,” he said.

The department, Foley said, is looking for grants, working with neighborhood groups and reaching out to other departments for additional ideas on curbing gun violence and controlling wayward youth.

The chief said the department is willing to do all it can to stop overall violence in the city, but it comes down to changing the mindset of people — and that, he said, is difficult.

“We are out there trying to get the guns off the streets and increase our visibility, but I can’t change people’s hearts,” he said. “Violence for some people is a way of life. We are trying to get people to change their behaviors, and that is the hard part.”

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