Detective pair solves pair of homicides within 24 hours


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The same team of detectives, aided by the same team of crime-scene personnel, were able to solve two homicides Sunday that occurred within 24 hours.

Detective Sgt. Chad Zubal filed a warrant for aggravated murder, kidnapping, felonious assault and receiving stolen property for Lavontae Knight, 22, in the Sunday evening shooting death of Trevice Harris, 37, who was found about 11:10 a.m. in an SUV that stopped for help at a 3200 Market St. gas station. The female driver was wounded in the same shooting.

His partner, Detective Sgt. Michael Cox, also filed a warrant in the 2:50 a.m. Sunday shooting death of Bobby Robert Gonzalez Torres, 30, inside the Sons of Borniquen Club, 720 Williamson Ave., charging Christian Ortiz Jordan, 23, with murder and two counts of felonious assault.

Ortiz Jordan fled to Puerto Rico after the shooting and turned himself in to U.S. marshals there Wednesday and is awaiting his return to Youngstown. U.S. marshals here are looking for Knight, who is considered armed and dangerous.

Both detectives were called out to both homicides but alternated being the lead detective, with Cox taking the lead on the Sons of Borniquen case while Zubal was the lead in the Harris case.

In the Harris case, things were complicated because at the beginning, police had no idea where the crime scene was. All they knew was that Harris was shot somewhere where the SUV was parked.

After searching throughout the South Side in an all-day rain Monday, however, investigators came up with three scenes, Zubal said; a place where the two victims were detained, a place where they were shot, and the place they ultimately wound up at – the gas station.

Cox used witnesses and video inside the club to help identify Ortiz Jordan as the suspect in that case. Ortiz Jordan also shot a man and a woman inside besides Torres, police said. The shooting stemmed from an argument earlier in the evening at the club among a group of women.

Police Chief Robin Lees credited both detectives and the crime-scene personnel for the work they did in securing crime scenes, finding evidence and rounding up witnesses and video to help their cases.

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