Man shot to death early Sunday in Warren has a history with guns

Staff report


No arrests have been made in the death of Martell S. Williams, 22, who died early Sunday after being shot beside an apartment building near the former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital.

Police arrested Williams inside one of the apartments last year on weapons charges.

The Trumbull County coroner has not yet ruled on his death. If ruled a homicide, it would be the city’s second this year.

The county 911 center received about 15 calls from people living in or near the apartments to report the 4:06 a.m. shooting.

“I heard it clear as day,” one caller told a dispatcher. “Most times I hear them, but I’ve never heard them like that,” the woman said, apparently referring to previous gunfire in the neighborhood. “They sounded like they were closer than normal.”

Close to four hours later, several calls came into the 911 center again about gunfire.

“A whole van just pulled up and started shooting,” a witness said in a 7:46 a.m. 911 call. “It’s getting ridiculous out here.”

Police arrested Williams, of Boston Avenue Southeast, on March 16, 2017, inside an apartment he shared with his girlfriend at the Stonegate Place apartments on Robert Avenue Northwest after police were called there for gunfire.

A caller reported it sounded like someone was firing out an apartment window.

Police found Williams, his girlfriend and another man in the woman’s apartment. They also found two fired shell casings on the living room floor and smelled gunpowder.

Officers found two handguns in a closet and took them into evidence. A Trumbull County grand jury later indicted Williams on two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. A charge of discharging firearms filed in Warren Municipal Court was later dismissed.

The grand jury indicted Williams again in December on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, plus improperly handing firearms in a motor vehicle and three drug-possession charges tied to a June arrest during a traffic stop.

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