Two men die in homicides, one shot, the other stabbed

By Peter H. Milliken


Police are investigating two weekend homicides, one a shooting and the other a stabbing.

At 3:40 a.m. Saturday, police found James Brown, 33, of Youngstown, dead of a gunshot wound to the head and lying on his back in a pile of shattered glass on the west side of South Truesdale Avenue just south of Shehy Street on the city’s East Side.

At 1:16 a.m. Sunday, police found Ivan DeMorris West, 28, of Liberty Township, lying face down on the floor between the kitchen and dining room in a second-floor apartment at 107 Hilton Ave. on the city’s South Side with a stab wound to the chest, from which he later died.

No suspects are in custody in either homicide.

In Saturday’s homicide, a West Middlesex, Pa., woman led police to the body she had found, and an ambulance crew verified that Brown was dead. Police observed the gunshot wound to the center of Brown’s head and said the glass appeared to have been auto glass.

In Sunday’s homicide, police observed West had labored breathing and blood coming from his chest, and noted a few specks of blood on the kitchen floor in front of the stove.

A 57-year-old man in the apartment, whom police described as a “person of interest” in the case, told police West ascended the stairs, banged on the apartment door and asked to be admitted. When the man let West in, West told him he had been stabbed and collapsed in the dining room, the man said.

West stopped breathing a few minutes before paramedics arrived and tried to resuscitate him, police said.

The puncture wound in West’s chest was consistent with one that would be made by a knife, police said.

Police said they observed no blood in the building’s first-floor doorway area or near the steps leading to the second-floor apartment. They also said the 57-year-old seemed upset and nervous and repeatedly inquired of police whether West would die.

Police took the 57-year-old man to the police station for questioning by detectives and released him.

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