Police probe S. Side slaying

Staff report


One mother spent her Mother’s Day in the hospital with a gunshot wound while mourning the death of her son, who police say was shot on the porch of their home.

Police responded to 3337 Loveland Road in the Brownlee Woods area of the South Side about 12:40 a.m. Sunday on a report of shots fired in the area.

When officers arrived, they found Robert Joseph Vanderpool, 37, slumped over a couch and banister of the porch, the police report stated.

Officers lowered Vanderpool to the floor and could not find a pulse. Paramedics confirmed that he was dead, and suspected gunshot wounds were found in the upper part of his left shoulder, according to police.

Rosemary Vanderpool, 76, who was in the home at the time, told police she heard her son yell, “I’m dying, Mom!” before six to eight gunshots rang out.

She said she started to open the door to the house and then slammed it shut. Another gunshot came through the door, striking her in the inner thigh, police said.

Rosemary Vanderpool said she didn’t see anyone when she opened the door, according to police.

Investigators for the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office transported Robert Vanderpool to the Mahoning County morgue, and Rosemary Vanderpool was taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Health Center. Officials said the woman was stable and that her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

A man arrived while officers were clearing the scene and told police he had heard two gunshots in the area about 11:30 p.m. but was not sure from which direction they had come.

No suspects have been named in the case, and no arrests have been made. Authorities said Loveland is generally a quiet area, and that this type of crime is unusual for the neighborhood.

Detectives said they found two marijuana plants in the basement of the home during their investigation.

Robert Vanderpool had been indicted in April in Mahoning County on charges of illegal cultivation of marijuana.

This was the fifth homicide in Youngstown in 2013. The most recent homicide was April 30, when Kristopher Stuart, 26, of Elm Street, was found dead at 2:26 a.m. on the floor in the front room of his home, with a gun inches from his hand.

By May 12, 2012, the city had recorded 10 homicides, twice as many as this year.

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