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Man arrested after shots fired in Austintown

AUSTINTOWN — A man is facing charges after a woman reported hearing shots fired outside her 907 Compass West residence about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Edward M. Johnston allegedly fired three rounds from a shotgun after attempting to break into the woman’s residence, a police report states, noting he was believed to be intoxicated.

She told police Johnston is a friend who asked for a ride home from Shotz Bar N Grill on Oakwood Avenue. When the woman arrived to pick up Johnston, she did not want to give him a ride because he was intoxicated and angry, according to the police report.

The man threatened her, and followed her to her residence and tried to break into the front of the house, before going around back and trying to break in through another entrance. Police found slashes on the back patio sliding glass door that were apparently from the attempted break-in, the report states.

Johnston then allegedly fired three rounds in an unknown direction and left. Police stopped Johnston’s car a short time later in the 4100 block of Pembrook Road, and found he had two live shotgun shells in his pockets and more live shells in his cupholder.

A 12-gauge shotgun was in Johnston’s trunk, according to the report. Johnston denied shooting a firearm Wednesday morning and told police the gun in his trunk had been there more than a year.

Asked about the live shotgun shells, Johnston told police: “They are always there. I like to stay armed,” according to the report.

Police found an empty beer bottle on the passenger side floor, as well as three unopened beer bottles. At the police station, Johnston failed a field sobriety test and a chemical breath test.

Damage discovered on Johnston’s passenger side doors was apparently sustained when he hit another vehicle attempting to flee Compass West.

Johnston is charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, using weapons while intoxicated, aggravated burglary, aggravated menacing, and criminal damaging, according to Mahoning County jail records. He is behind held on a $17,500 bond.

Johnston pleaded not guilty to the charges by telephone Wednesday morning in Austintown Court.

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