Detective: Robbery victim ‘lucky to be alive

By Joe Gorman


Police Detective Sgt. Michael Lambert said a 57-year-old woman shot three times in her Powersdale Avenue drive early Monday evening is “lucky to be alive.”

The woman was found about 6:50 p.m. with gunshot wounds just below her eye, biceps and shoulder in her car as it was parked in the drive of her South Side home in the 1300 block of Powersdale.

A neighbor, Chris Donlow, heard gunshots, went outside and then heard a horn and saw the woman in her car. He then called 911.

Lambert said there was just one robber who took part in the attack, not two, as police reports had initially indicated. Reports said the woman told police a man approached her car and demanded her wallet and before she could give it to the man, he shot her and ran off.

Investigators found two .22-caliber shell casings by one of the rear wheels of the victim’s car.

Lambert said it is unusual for someone to fire shots so quickly in this type of robbery. He speculated the robber saw the victim reach for her purse and may have thought she was reaching for a gun.

Lambert said the victim is expected to survive.

Donlow said he has lived next door to the victim for 14 years, and that she cuts her lawn regularly and keeps the house, which belonged to her mother, in good shape.

Donlow, who served in the Army, said he was in an upstairs office at his home when he heard a series of cracks that he thought were either gunshots or the sounds of windows breaking. He said he went outside to check, and that’s when he heard the horn go off in the victim’s car. He said he walked over and saw her face covered in blood.

“It looked like she didn’t have an eye anymore,” Donlow said.

Donlow said the woman was also on the phone to 911 and trying to get out of the car.

“The cup holder was filled with blood,” Donlow said.

Meanwhile, police do have a suspect in a shooting later Monday after detectives issued a felonious assault warrant looking for Curtis Cooper, 20, no address listed, in the wounding of a man about 10:10 p.m. in the 800 block of Michigan Avenue.

The victim is being treated at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital and is expected to recover, said Lt. Doug Bobovnyik of the detective bureau.

Bobovnyik said the victim and Cooper had a previous argument that carried over to a gathering the two were at in a home on Michigan Avenue when the victim was shot inside the home.

The shooting, close to the campus of Youngstown State University, prompted a campus alert for students, but Bobovnyik said neither Cooper nor the victim is a student at the university.

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