Police: Retribution possible motive in deadly shooting

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



Police are looking at retribution for past misdeeds as the possible reason behind the city’s most recent homicide.

Mark S. Haskins, 57, of Norwood Avenue, was found with several gunshot wounds to the chest in front of a house on the southwest corner of Bissell and Kensington avenues last Wednesday on the North Side. He was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he survived for several days before dying over the weekend.

Police Chief Rod Foley said the case now has been changed to a homicide investigation, and detectives are working with few leads.

“We have a few avenues we are pursuing but not enough to say it will be solved right away,” he said.

One of the areas police are investigating is the possibility that someone shot Haskins for some past misdeed. Foley said police believe Haskins was in an altercation with the shooter just before being shot, a possible argument about something that had previously taken place.

“Mr. Haskins had a pretty significant criminal history, mostly for drugs. He called us just before he was shot and said he was in an argument and wanted to file a police report. A few minutes later, he called back and said he was shot, so we believe the shooter was with him at the time of the first call,” said Foley.

Police are asking that anyone with any information call the department anonymously at 330-746-CLUE. He said help from the public is needed and has not been forthcoming in this investigation.

“We have not had many significant calls on this one,” he said.

Haskins, at the time of the shooting, had two outstanding warrants from Youngstown police for failing to appear in court on charges of drug paraphernalia and driving under suspension.

County records show convictions for Haskins dating back to 1995 for crimes such as robbery, theft, failure to comply, receiving stolen property, fleeing, resisting arrest and forgery.

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