Resident: Atkinson Avenue area near homicide usually is quiet

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


A longtime resident in the neighborhood where the city recorded its most- recent homicide says the area has its problems with drug activity but is usually pretty quiet.

The quiet in that Atkinson Avenue neighborhood on the city’s East Side was disrupted by police sirens and the flashing lights of emergency vehicles early Tuesday as police responded to a call about a shooting at a house in the 1900 block of that street.

Officers found 28-year-old Oneil Williams of Pontiac, Mich., dead inside the two-story home.

When officers arrived at the Atkinson house about 5:30 a.m., they found a man and a woman who both live at the house sitting in a 2002 Cadillac outside. The man inside the car got out and escorted officers into the house.

Responding officers walked to a rear bedroom in the house where they found Williams lying motionless in a pool of blood with a gunshot wound to the side of his head. A report from the Mahoning County coroner’s office says Williams died from gunshot wounds to the head, chest and abdomen.

Next to Williams’ body, police found a small scale, a cellphone, suspected marijuana and two spent shell casings.

Police collected all items from the house and towed the Cadillac for inventory. The man and woman both were taken to the Youngstown Police Department for question- ing and released several hours later. A man at the house Tuesday morning refused to make any statements to the media.

Captain Mark Milstead, Youngstown police detective division, said investigators do have good information on what took place inside the house and are looking to speak with certain people who can help with the investigation.

“We have a number of leads we are following, and we do have a person of interest we are looking to talk to,” he said.

Police Chief Rod Foley said the victim is from an area of Michigan not far from Detroit, but the facts of the case do not suggest the murder is tied to a larger Detroit crime issue. He would not discuss what those facts are.

“We really don’t want to release any of those details at this point because it may hamper the investigation, but there will be more information available at a later time,” he said.

James Morgan lives a short distance away from the home where the killing took place. He said the residents of the house moved in a little more than a week ago and have been relatively quiet, but host a lot of company.

Morgan said he was sleeping at the time of the murder and did not hear or see anything, but he does remember hearing someone calling out for a man next door about 8 p.m. before he went to bed.

Morgan, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years, said the area is getting bad.

“It’s pretty rough in this area. You have a lot of shooting going on. There are crack houses at the other end of the street, but I am a man of God, so I just pray on it, that’s all you can do,” he said.

Williams’ killing took place less than 48 hours after another slaying on the city’s South Side. Tamarick Moore, 18, was killed while sitting in a vehicle on the city’s South Side Sunday. There have been no arrests in Moore’s death.

Williams is the city’s 26th homicide of 2012.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.