YPD seeks motive in East Side double homicide
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
Family and friends of a 20-year-old killed in a double homicide have no idea why anyone would want to kill the man and are looking to police and the community for answers.
Ibn Shakoor, 20, of McBride Street, and Michael Johnson, 20, of Katherine Street, were found in a Chevrolet Tahoe dead of gunshot wounds early Friday. Police say nearly two dozen bullets were fired into the car on the East Side.
No arrests have been made.
Jaslyn Williams said Johnson, her cousin, was an entertaining person with the ability to make anybody smile. She said he worked two jobs — at Taco Bell and Walmart — and wanted to leave the area and pursue a career in entertainment or media.
“He could make anybody laugh. He was really a good person,” she said.
Johnson’s aunt, Rose Hoskins, said her nephew did not have any enemies and spent most of his time earning a living. She can’t imagine who would want to shoot him, but she is hoping police can soon answer that question.
“He was a good guy and really did not bother anybody. He loved to sing and dance. Everybody loved him,” she said. “He was much loved, and I hope they find who is responsible for this.”
Police are still looking for witnesses and a motive. Youngstown police Capt. Mark Milstead said officers need the help of residents in the area to catch whomever is responsible.
“We believe there are residents in the area with information, and until they are willing to come forward and provide that information, this same senseless violence is going to reoccur,” he said.
Shakoor and Johnson were sitting inside the truck outside Shakoor’s home listening to music with a third unidentified man. A volley of shots rang out, shattering the rear window and back-seat window in the truck, hitting both men but missing the unidentified third man.
Police say evidence found at the scene established that the men were not involved in any criminal activity. Neither of the men has a serious criminal history. Shakoor was arrested once for disorderly conduct.
Police are not certain of a motive in the murders but believe the shooting may have been a hate crime.
Milstead said officers are speaking with the surviving witness but still do not want to go beyond speculation as far as a motive.
“At this point and time, there is no clear reason why these individuals would have been attacked the way they were. We can speculate it was the gay issue, but at this point we cannot say for sure,” he said.
Milstead said police believe there may be more than one person involved in the shooting.
“We know that there were at least two types of weapons involved in this case with approximately two dozen rounds fired. My suspicion is that these guys live in that area, and we are hoping to get some witnesses calling in,” said Milstead.
Hoskins, Williams and Sherice Jackson, Johnson’s best friend, believe Johnson may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or the victim of jealousy.
The Youngstown Police Department is requesting that anyone with information on the murders contact the department at 330-747-7911 or CrimeStoppers at 330-756-CLUE. Those reporting crimes do not have to divulge their identities.