Struthers man charged in Youngstown shooting despite self-defense claim

Staff report


City police are investigating a shooting outside a convenience store and a woman brandishing a butcher knife at a child’s birthday party.

Nicholas J. Italiano, 24, of Struthers, was charged with felonious assault Saturday after calling 911 and admitting he had shot a man at Sami Quick Stop, 2822 Market St. but said it was self defense.

The victim was in stable condition at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, police said.

The 8:45 p.m. incident began with Italiano and a woman arguing over a parking spot. The woman, 35, said Italiano’s truck was taking up multiple spaces, and Italiano yelled at her and used racial slurs, so she called her boyfriend.

When he arrived, he punched Italiano in the face. Italiano then pulled a gun from his pocket and chased the other man and shot him, police said.

Italiano, who had a concealed-carry license, drove to Erie Street and called 911. Police interviewed Italiano and recovered his handgun.

Italiano was charged and taken to the Mahoning County jail after police reviewed the store’s surveillance video.

In a separate incident Saturday, Royale Elkins, 24, of Pine Hollow Drive, was jailed and charged with domestic violence and violation of a protection order after police say she threatened people with a butcher knife at her daughter’s birthday party on Abeerdeen Avenue.

The father of Elkins’ baby told police he and Elkins started arguing at a Boardman store because he was taking the girl for a birthday party at the home where he and his mother live.

Elkins followed them to Aberdeen and demanded that the baby go with her, police said. When that failed, she left for a while and came back with her brother and others and a butcher knife, police said. The baby’s father said Elkins “began swinging it around at everyone on the porch” around 9 p.m.

A witness said Elkins struck the baby’s father in the face with her hand, but he did not strike back. The baby’s father provided police with an active protection order requiring Elkins to stay away from his mother.

Police said the baby’s father handed them a butcher’s knife shortly after they arrived on Aberdeen and said it was the one she swung around. Police also found a butcher knife in the car where they located Elkins.

Elkins told police the episode began when the baby’s father struck her in the head with a gun, so she followed him to the Aberdeen residence. She did not call police regarding the gun incident, police said.

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