Warren Twp. cops use Facebook to alert residents of murder suspect
By Ed Runyan
A still-unidentified man has been arrested in connection with Monday’s Atlantic Street homicide, possibly bringing to a close two days’ worth of fear for residents of Atlantic Street, Lordstown and Warren Township.
The homicide, and another shooting Sunday night, occurred in the parking lot of Atlantic Beverages, 408 Atlantic St. NE.
Khaled M. Nassar, 22, of Englesson Drive Northwest, died after being shot in the parking lot at 9:48 p.m. Monday. The suspect or suspects fled in Nassar’s vehicle, shooting at a Warren police officer who was following him southwest out of the city and into the Lordstown-Warren Township area.
The suspect or suspects bailed out of the car near the intersection of Palmyra Road and Hewitt-Gifford Road on the border of Lordstown and Warren Township and got away.
About 20 police officers with numerous police agencies responded to the location to help search. They also went door-to-door to warn residents to stay in their homes and be alert to any strangers, said Brent Milhoan, Lordstown police chief.
The Warren Township Police Department used the social-media site Facebook to help alert people to the possible danger the situation posed, posting one message saying residents of the Palmyra Road, Hewitt-Gifford Road and South Levitt Road areas should “stay in your houses and lock your doors.”
It added, “There is an armed person in that area. Officers are currently in that area searching. If someone comes to your door or is in your yard, call 911 immediately. Do not approach anyone in your yard. Please pass this around and if you know someone that lives in that area and does not have Facebook, call them on the phone and pass this alert.”
An additional message was posted at 11:57 p.m., indicating that the suspect or suspects had not been caught, and to continue to be on alert.
“Thank you to the [Facebook] community for passing the information around quickly. The residents are our eyes and ears,” the last message said.
Milhoan talked to the Lordstown Schools superintendent, William Pfaler, about the situation, which apparently is the reason Lordstown schools used its One-Call system to notify families in the Lordstown school district that school would be delayed for two hours Tuesday morning, Milhoan said. Pfahler did not return a phone call Wednesday seeking comment.
Milhoan said his department also increased patrols Tuesday and followed the school bus that serves students in that area to provide additional security.
After the fact, Milhoan said he considered using the village’s Code Red system, which can be used to send about 2,000 calls to residents throughout the village in a matter of minutes. The system has been used for boil alerts and once recently for an elderly man who had walked away from home.
“Nobody really thought about it at the time,” Milhoan said of using the system to alert residents to what happened Monday night, but it could be used that way in the future, Milhoan said.
Police apprehended a “person of interest” in Nassar’s death Tuesday evening after a chase from Warren to Karl Street in Warren Township, where the vehicle in which he was a passenger crashed. The driver of the car got away.
Warren police had no additional information on the “person of interest,” but no charges had been filed in the homicide as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Christopher Jackson, 16, of Warren Township, was charged with felonious assault and aggravated robbery — both with specifications indicating a gun was used — in the Sunday evening shooting of a 17-year-old Warren male.
Jackson turned himself in to Warren police Tuesday afternoon after police issued a warrant for his arrest. The victim in that shooting is recovering from a gunshot wound to the elbow.
Jackson will remain in the Trumbull County Juvenile Justice Center until a plea hearing in about 10 days.