Police have ‘strong suspect’ in Youngstown's 15th killing

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



Police have a “strong suspect” in the killing Wednesday of 24-year-old Dion Weatherspoon and have arrested a teenage girl in a related stabbing that took place shortly after the shooting death.

Police were called to 246 Hilton Ave. about 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, of a different Hilton Avenue address, lying dead in the driveway with multiple gunshot wounds. He became the city’s 15th homicide victim of 2012.

Police Chief Rod Foley said detectives working on the case have ascertained the name of the person who most likely fired the shots.

“We have a strong person of interest we are building a case against. We are tying up a few loose ends, and I am hoping to get a warrant out pretty soon,” he said. “We are really comfortable with the investigation.”

Foley would not say much about the suspect other than he is a male and is believed to have been friends with Weatherspoon. Foley said the two men had a somewhat volatile friendship, however.

“We believe there was a long-going altercation between [Weatherspoon] and this individual. These two knew each other, but we don’t know why it ramped up to gunfire,” Foley said.

The fact that the suspect would begin shooting in a neighborhood during daylight hours with the intent to kill or do bodily harm, Foley said, is a big reason police want him off the streets.

Police did arrest a 17-year-old girl for a stabbing two houses away from the shooting scene. The 19-year-old stabbing victim is believed to be Weatherspoon’s former girlfriend, and one of the other females involved in the attack is said to have a child by Weatherspoon.

Police went back to the Hilton area and found the 19-year-old victim lying on an enclosed porch bleeding from various parts of her body. She was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center for treatment.

Reports say several people hanging around the area told officers to stop a girl walking away from the scene, later identified as 17-year-old Sydney Fields, who was said by witnesses to be responsible for the stabbing.

According to reports, when police attempted to stop Fields for questioning, she took a fighting stance and threw punches at two officers.

Police used a stinger gun to gain control of Fields. She is charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Police reports say Fields and a group of women approached the victim inquiring about Weatherspoon. A fight broke out between the victim and the women. The victim was stabbed multiple times during that altercation before a group of men intervened and stopped the assault.

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