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String of Youngstown shootings hits child

ABOVE: Detective Anthony Vitullo, left, leaves an apartment on McBride Street in Youngstown Monday, along with officer Greg Miller (holding box and bag), while detective Nicholas Menichini and officer Joe Moran continue with their work. A boy, 4, was shot Monday afternoon, suffering a critical injury.

YOUNGSTOWN — Some children played outside without coats Monday afternoon in the Victory Estates apartments, where another child nearby suffered a serious gunshot wound.

It was one of at least two shootings Monday after three fatal shootings since Thursday.

Police were called at 1:50 p.m. to the apartment in the 600 block of McBride Street on the East Side, where they found a woman in the rear of the apartment holding a boy, 4, with a gunshot wound, Youngstown police said.

The boy was transported to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital in critical condition.

Police said tips leading to an arrest and prosecution are eligible for a monetary reward. Call Crime Stoppers at 330-746-CLUE or 330-742-8YPD. Tips may be left anonymously.

The neighborhood has seen a tragic shooting before.

The McBride Street apartment is just a short distance up the street from where Crystal Hernandez, 23, was shot to death Jan. 24, 2019, while holding her son, 2, who was not injured. That killing was part of a daylong feud involving Herndandez’s boyfriend and several other men. Six men at the time fired scores of shots into the apartment.

Six were indicted in the killing, including Lorenz Rhodes, 20, convicted at trial last summer in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. Several of the other defendants have accepted plea agreements.

Police were dispatached for another shooting about 8 p.m. Monday in the 500 block of Lee Avenue. One person was taken to a hospital for a leg wound. Police declined to provide any information Monday night while the investigation is ongoing.

SEPARATE CASE

The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office, meanwhile, has identified a man shot to death on the South Side late Thursday as Thomas Williams, 34.

Fatal shootings also took place on the South Side Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.

Williams was found dead in the 3200 block of South Avenue. Officers went there about 11:54 p.m. Thursday. Officers found Williams in a parking lot. They also learned that a second gunshot victim showed up at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The coroner’s office has not yet released the identities of men who died in shootings at 4:30 p.m. Friday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Friday shooting death was in the 3400 block of Market Street. The Sunday shooting was in the 100 block of East Auburndale Avenue.

The three homicides brought the number of apparent homicides for the year to five.

After the Friday afternoon killing, police chief Carl Davis and Mayor Jamael Tito Brown urged people to remain calm.

The police department has stepped up its presence throughout the city “for the foreseeable future.” Assistance is coming from the Mahoning County Violent Crimes Task Force and the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

POLICE DATA

Data provided by the Youngstown Police Department on Monday indicates that three homicides taking place on three separate days close together in the city has not happened many times in recent years.

In three instances in the last three years, however, three people were shot to death in the same incident, the most recent one being the deaths of Dymond D. Ortello, 34; Daniel Ortello, 31; and Charles Pullen, 37, at the Brothers of Power Classic Car Club on Logan Avenue on the North Side on Feb. 9, 2020.

Pullen and Daniel Ortello shot and killed each other, while Robert L. Shelton, 44, was charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of Dymond D. Ortello. Shelton’s case is pending.

On Dec. 12, 2019, Korey Jennings, 38, Jamal Burley, 38, and Adrien Brown, 42, were found shot to death in a home on West Delason Avenue on the South Side. No charges have been filed in the case. Robbery was suspected as the motive.

And Shaiquon Sharpe, 23, of Columbus and Taquashon Ray, 23, of Youngstown, are charged in the Nov. 7, 2018, murders of Edward Morris, 21, Valarcia Blair, 19, and their child, 3-month-old Tariq Morris. They were shot to death in Morris’s vehicle on the South Side.

erunyan@tribtoday.com

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