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Youngstown's homicides spike

Published: Thu, June 14, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.
  Hilton Street Shooting

A man identified as Dion Weatherspoon, was found shot to death in the 200 block of Hilton Avenue on the city's South Side late this morning.

The incident began right before 11:30 a.m. as a large fight among several males fight that escalated into a shooting.

Police arrived on the scene, and found the man shot multiple times. A woman believed to be the man's mother also arrived on the scene.

A man identified as Dion Weatherspoon, was found shot to death in the 200 block of Hilton Avenue on the city's South Side late this morning. The incident began right before 11:30 a.m. as a large fight among several males fight that escalated into a shooting. Police arrived on the scene, and found the man shot multiple times. A woman believed to be the man's mother also arrived on the scene.

Staff report


AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR, THE CITY had recorded just five homicides. With Wednesday’s shooting death of Dion Weatherspoon, the city now has tripled that number.

Weatherspoon was acquitted of murder in 2009, and now police are trying to determine who gunned him down in broad daylight in the driveway of a home on Hilton Avenue.

Police were called to 246 Hilton just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday initially for a large group of males fighting. Before officers could

respond, a second call came in to police saying shots had been fired.

Police arrived at the Hilton address on the South Side to find Weatherspoon, 24, of a different Hilton Avenue address, lying dead in the driveway with multiple gunshot wounds.

He is the city’s 15th homicide victim this year.

A witness at the scene, who did not want to be identified, said she was walking past the house just before the shooting when the group of males began fighting. She said she got her children away from the scene and called police after seeing guns pulled, so she did not see the actual shooting.

Police, immediately after the shooting, searched for a black male who was seen carrying a gun and riding a bicycle from the scene, but no arrest had been made as of Wednesday night. Police Lt. Doug Bobovnik said the department had no suspects.

“There are a lot of people out here, but no one has come forward with any information,” he said late Wednesday afternoon. “If anybody has seen anything, please call the Youngstown Police Department with that information.”

Police did take several people to the police station for questioning.

Shortly after clearing the scene of the shooting, police were called back to the same location about 1:20 p.m. for a fight involving a knife. Police said they were able to gain control of the situation quickly.

A woman living in the neighborhood, who also refused to give her name, said the area has become saturated with drug use and the crimes associated with drug activity. She said the fighting that preceded the shooting has become common in the area.

According to police reports, Weatherspoon was arrested on charges of trafficking and possession of crack cocaine and marijuana in March of this year. He also had open warrants for obstructing official business, aggravated menacing and driving under suspension.

Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office records show Weatherspoon had drug charges in 2010 and 2011. A felony charge of possession of cocaine was pending in common pleas court.

Weatherspoon’s most-notable case was a murder charge in the 2007 shooting death of William Burr outside a pizza shop on South Avenue — mere blocks from the spot where Weatherspoon was killed. A jury acquitted him of that charge in 2009.

The jurors said a key video in the case led to the acquittal.

The video shows Weatherspoon entering the pizzeria, asking for food, being told the shop was closed and leaving the store right before six shots clearly can be heard on the tape. The video, which was played during the trial, didn’t show anyone firing a gun, however.

The jurors determined from the video that Weatherspoon was too far from Burr’s car to have shot him six times through its partially open driver’s-side door window without shattering that window or putting bullet holes in the car.


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

They will most likely hold a candle lit vigil for this model citizen.

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2snworb56(53 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh here we go "middlefinger".....IT'S SOMEONE ELSES FAULT. Typical.

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3Outtatown2010(4 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Youngstown needs to tighten up! I have seen in the past 3 months two cases of murders getting plea deal for 5-6 years!!!! They need a curfew for all ages, cops patrolling every road etc.. Parents tell your kids "NO" you can't leave. I know for a fact parents treat their young black males as MEN at the age of 15. Parents you have control use it. Drugs and Murder are taking over Youngstown I am glad I moved my son and I out if the city!

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4CongressWatcher(225 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

If you want to entice people to do something you pay them. The federal government is responsible for this useless subculture. There really are some people living in these neighborhoods who are trying to live life the right way. However, the city should save any money they spend on economic development. These fools make it impossible for anyone to choose to live in Youngstown if they can possibly afford to live anywhere else.

Instead of letting these criminals out of jail early can the criminal justice system please put together a program that puts these offenders to work cleaning up these neighborhoods? Please give us taxpayers something for all this money we are throwing at "poverty". Look at the good things that have been done by the CCA on Market Street. I almost feel safe driving down Market street now that they tore down all the buildings and I can see trouble coming from a long way. The federal government needs to stop borrowing my kids' money to give it to these kids' to make more kids. Please! Either make the changes or get the hell out of office!

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5DwightK(1537 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

It's funny how people want the police when there is a fight and imminent danger. But the minute the police need help figuring out who shot someone "nobody seen nothin".

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6peggygurney(408 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

This happened 4 blocks from my house. My 12 yr old autistic son heard the gunshots and ran upstairs, wouldn't come down til his dad came over.

I've had enough.

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7Attis(1134 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

death by murder in Y-town: 24 in 2009; 21 in 2010; 23 in 2011; 15 half way through 2012. Homicide is at epidemic levels here and has been so for decades. As long as the murders are contained in the ghetto no one really cares, right? What does that say about us?

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8Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

“There are a lot of people out here, but no one has come forward with any information,” he said late Wednesday afternoon."

So Typical!!!

"""A woman living in the neighborhood, who also refused to give her name, said the area has become saturated with drug use and the crimes associated with drug activity. She said the fighting that preceded the shooting has become common in the area."""

Why not just saturate this area and get rid of the animals that are breeding on these grounds. Pure disgusting cockroaches that need to be exterminated!

FINALLY, a article that cuts right to this dudes history and no sugar coating this time. I'm just waiting now for the "he was a great guy", "he was changing his life", and on and on..... You want to live by the sword your going to die by the sword, real simple.
Once again, is the black community not sick and tired of this. Another candlelight vigil, another parent burying her kid, same old thing, only the names have changed. Wake up people it's not going to mysteriously disappear. What does it take for the black community to say "Enough is Enough." BTW where are the black leaders, pastors during these times?? Just asking....

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9UNCOMMONSENSE(626 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Based on Dion's criminal past, he got what he deserved and Youngstown is now a better place without him.

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10DwightK(1537 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

If the suspect got away on a bicycyle how far away can he live? He didn't roll over from the east side to do this. People need to speak up.

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11snworb56(53 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Lifes2Short.... the black leaders probably don't want to go into those neighborhoods either. The people who LIVE there must step up or move.

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12snworb56(53 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

You know, we can go back and forth about this all day, the fact is these kids dying everyday is a trajedy and very sad and it's up to the adults to except their responsibilities and fix it. Easier said than done I know.

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13redvert(2240 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

If this crap continues, Jesse and Al will come thundering into town. That would be (after they notify the alphabet networks) and give some very thoughtful soothing speeches on how this is "whiteys" fault, (George Bush comes to mind) and how there are no jobs etc. As if these dirt bags would actually work a legitimate job.

You can't fix stupid and until the the black community says enough is enough, it will not end.

No one knows the name of the mystery shooter, yea right!!!

"I don't know nuttin"

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14Bozz11(6 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

You can send in as many cops and neighborhood watches as you want, it won't change anything with our weak justice system. Cops arrest them and the courts send them right back out like a revolving door. Harsher punishment for criminals (especially violent and drug related), maybe three strikes and you get a needle in the arm?? Get rid of the bad apples, free up some prison cells and tax dollars, make society a generally better place; kinda like thinning the herd. And of course there are cultural issues to deal with in these areas such as the lack of parenting and emphasis for education, but we won't get into that just yet.

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15dawn421(265 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

as usual nobody seen nuthin. lol im sure within the week the person will e murdered too as usual. thats how its done it seems. so watch the news as the vindy keeps a running tally of the murders, like its a contest to ee if we break last yrs record. it is rediculous. and where was mama saying what a good boy he was? lets see how many kids my taxes are supporting in the obit.

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16UsuallyBlunt(105 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Dion was a good boy! He was about to get his G.E.D. and turn his life around...how many babies did he leave for US to care for?

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17dmh6(1 comment)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Ultimately, people are responsible for their own fate However, what many don't know about the criminal justice system is that House Bill 86 and the Ohio Risk Assessment (developed by the University of Cincinnati) have limited the court's and the probation officers' ability to sentence these idiots to prison and to correctly monitor them. House Bill 86 is Ohio's answer to lowering the prison population and is allowing people to participate in drug and alcohol treatment in lieu of incarceration when drug dealing thugs like this are the ones helping the drug problem in this area get worse. When these thugs are granted probation (now called community control) the Ohio Risk Assessment (developed by people who clearly have never dealt directly with the thug population) limits the probation officer's ability to actually monitor the criminal's activity and, in many cases, doesn't even allow the probation officer to go to the offender's home and only allows the probation officer to see the thug maybe 4 times per year. So, the next time the news reports the offender was given probation, know this, the great State of Ohio has tied the probation officer's hands and will not let them do their job! And, the offender just keeps doing what they do best- more criminal activity.

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18georgejeanie(1533 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Seriously. as these hoodrats commit a crime load them on the boat, send them to China/ surely China would do the US a favor and take these hoodrats off our hands. They already own the USA, they wo ulds be protecting their investment.

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19southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Gunned him down in broad daylight...does not matter the time nor the place, everyone is a candidate for violence these days

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20shelshel(2 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

It amaze me how people are quick to judge....especially the ones who sits on their deron and put their one cent worth opinion on the internet. Now, when have anyone heard of Youngstown having Black leaders??? I will wait for it *sarcasm* I wonder why Youngstown does not have any Black Leaders.... I'll wait for this answer!

See the "system" label majority of black leaders as "rebels, afrocentric and etc" but non-people of color as listed as "patriotic" so that alone will decrease the blackleaders.

Now onto the staff who wrote this non-professional article.Please inform me why it is needed to show his criminal records (@middlefinger you have to be the biggest hermit....tsh,tsh how sad!) I could had sworn that he was the victim? I believe if people paid attention to the news they knew what he cause. *next time write "the victim had a lengthy criminal record, the most noticable act involve a deceased victim (name) who was (specific incident)"

The police knew the same day who was the shooter, the neighborhood told that same day. See the thing is our police dept is most definitely not up to par......period! The victim who was stabbed was the one who instigated the whole cause. Now I believe that was b.s to whoop off in that girl's deron....but life goes on.

I really believe that everyone who KNEW Dion Weatherspoon PERSONALLY knew this day would come. The black community is well aware of Karma. What non-people of color LOVED to give credit to Newton's third law.

I will say it loud until the day I die "let black people know their true history" see the thing is that black people only knows about America after the Europeans settled. That is not black people history. And please tell the truth of what happened in the "dark ages" in Europe.

See the blacks in America needs to know their history so there can be evolution with this specific culture. So therefore ALL human species can continue to evolve into mankind's next chapter. I find it quite hilarious that most people on this site have an opinion but THAT'S ALL!

Maybe instead of giving our opinions we can start a group amongst us (who loves giving our opinions.) We can focus specifically on the youth first because they are the next generation. Get well known people surrounding this area to endorse certain activities for the youth and their families members. I would love to help people (no matter what their culture is) period and would be willingly to put my words to action. Seriously I would love to help and we should start a group since we havee nothing else to do except give our opinions.

this send me a

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21leelee25(9 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

@shelshel....it's very important to know his record!!!!!! Why? Because we need to know the possible reason, for the incident! I myself would like to be assured there is not a reckless serial killer loose! It reassures you! And it's true, as lifes2short said-live by it, die by it. Sad, but truth...

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22shelshel(2 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

@leelee believe when I say his death had nothing to do with the criminal record that clinged to his name. I do understand why it is important to mention about him having a previous criminal record. But I do not believe it is important to make the WHOLE story based off his negative past. Once again he was the victim.

And @leelee how can you be reassured about a "reckless serial killer" if he is dead?! Unless your talking about Dion's killer. And I concur with you and life2short about Karma. "Sad, but truth" is nothing but the truth :-(

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23USMC0331(152 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago


Bravo!! Well put!!!! Couldn't agree more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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24gbeans01(11 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

zz3....completely agree with you. I lived on the south side for an unbearable 7 years. The police who are devoted to their job aren't so bad, it's the ones who like to f off and hide in bars and secretly booze who are the problem.....and the others who like to pick up chicks and get touchy-feely in their cruisers. I've seen both and it's disgusting. As far as the population? I think they should put up a fence and let the jerks kill one another and be done with it already. I moved out of the city 7 years ago after someone was murdered a driveway from my house....makes me sick to hear how much is still going on and nothing is being done about it. Hate to be cliche about it but it's about damn time the mob makes a comeback to clear all these thugs out of here.

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25rightofronnie(11 comments)posted 4 years ago

Anybody ever seen Death Wish?

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26dawn421(265 comments)posted 4 years ago

@ zz3 lol and good one? the motormouths dont reply when someone calls them out

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27Traveler(606 comments)posted 4 years ago

Once again we see more proof that urban youngstown resembles a African hell hole more then america whose bright idea was it to lets these animals out of the cage

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