Shootings joined cheer for new year in Youngstown

SEE ALSO: Warren shooting victim sentenced to 18 months in 2008

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


The city did not record any homicides on the first day of the new year, but there was no shortage of gunfire, robberies and violence.

A 20-year-old Liberty Township man told police he was shot somewhere along Steel Street on the West Side near midnight as most people were ringing in the new year.

The victim told police he was involved in an altercation with a man at a church hall near Steel Street when the man pointed a gun at him and fired. The bullet grazed the victim’s forehead leaving a nonlife-threatening wound. The victim told police he knows the shooter only by his first name.

The victim was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center for treatment. Police have not caught the shooter.

Gunplay in the city continued moments later when the 72-year-old owner of a North Side home in the 700 block of Norwood Avenue told police her home was hit by gunfire as people in the area celebrated the new year by firing guns.

Police went to the woman’s home and found that a rear window had been struck by bullets. Police said the shooting appeared to be unintentional and noted the high volume of gunfire in the area at the time of the incident.

Later Tuesday, about 3 p.m., a 47-year-old man told police he may have been shot at on the South Side while clearing snow from the corner of Erie Street and Clarencedale Avenue with a lawn tractor.

The man said he was clearing the snow so children would have a clear place to stand while waiting for the school bus this week.

The man told police he may have inadvertently backed out in front of a car while plowing the snow. He said he heard two gunshots after realizing he backed out in front of the car and turned to see an irate man in a blue car who asked if he was crazy and threatened to kill him.

Police searched the area but did not find any shell casings or the alleged shooter.

A 51-year-old Youngs-town man is in Mahoning County jail facing charges of robbery, aggravated menacing, intimidation of a witness, resisting arrest and attempted criminal damage.

Police arrested Christopher Cunningham on Tuesday on a charge that he robbed a man of his coat and hat downtown and attempted to take a woman’s cellphone.

According to police reports, Cunningham had threatened a man earlier in the day at the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley on the North Side. Upon seeing the same man downtown near the bus station, police said Cunningham punched the man in the face and forcibly removed his hat and jacket.

Police reports say Cunningham tried to rob a woman who works downtown of her cellphone before he was scared off by security guards working at the 20 Federal Place building on West Federal Street.

Officers arrested Cunningham a short time later, but he threatened to kill each officer involved in the arrest as well as the man he robbed of the coat and hat. Officers eventually used pepper spray on Cunningham in an effort to make him comply with their orders.

Cunningham has been arrested in the past for felonious assault and obstructing official business.

More like this from

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.