By Jeanne Starmack
Police are investigating a death threat against all the Struthers city council members.
Police also provided security at Wednesday night’s council meeting, with an officer stationed at the doorway to the meeting room while patrol cars circled the city building.
“He said he’s going to shoot us all,” councilman-at-large Mike Patrick told The Vindicator prior to the meeting.
The threat came in a phone call that the mayor’s office directed to clerk of council Megan Shorthouse.
Shorthouse said she got the call at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Shorthouse and Mayor Terry Stocker said it’s possible the caller went through the city’s court system within the last several days, but added that they do not know for sure who it was.
“The voice was muffled and broken, and I didn’t recognize it,” Shorthouse said.
“He made a threat he’s going to kill all of them,” she said. “His anger seems to be with the judge, and he wanted to know how to get a judge removed.”
Shorthouse said she explained to the man that the council has nothing to do with the operations of the court. She said she advised him to call the Ohio Attorney General’s Office or the Mahoning County Bar Association.
“He was agitated,” she said.
“As of today, I’ve been locking my door.”
She said the door to the prosecutor’s office is also being locked. The mayor’s office is always locked, with a key-pad control.
Stocker said the city had already tightened its security on days when court is in session, with guards at the doors who use a frisk wand.
“We don’t take anything lightly,” he said.
“We can’t prove who this individual is,” he added. “We think it stemmed from something that happened in court.”