Dog injured in shooting

YOUNGSTOWN — Julius R. Thomas Jr.. 33, of Wesley Avenue, was arraigned Tuesday in Youngstown Municipal Court on a felony charge of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation and misdemeanor charges of killing or injuring animals and discharging a firearm within city limits for an incident that injured a dog.

Youngstown police said they were called to the 400 block of Wesley Avenue on the West Side at 10:11 p.m. Saturday for a fight, gunfire and a house and dog being shot.

When an officer arrived, the owner of the dog was holding the animal in her arms and screaming for an ambulance. There was blood on the floor of the home, the police report states.

She said the dog was sitting on the floor near her couch when she heard gunfire and a bullet traveled through her wall and hit the dog in its lower area. The dog was alert despite the bullet wound.

Other officers went to a home nearby and spoke with Thomas, who said his brother and another man came to Thomas’ home to fight, according to a police report. They got out of the vehicle and approached the front of Thomas’ front porch.

Thomas said the unknown male pulled his hooded sweatshirt down around his face and reached toward his waistband, so Thomas pointed an M-15 rifle at him and told him to move his hands away from his waist.

Instead, the man started to run up onto Thomas’ porch, so Thomas fired the rifle. The unknown man and Thomas’ brother both fled in the car in which they arrived. Thomas said he shot at the vehicle and thinks he hit it because radiator fluid was on the driveway. But he did not think he hit his brother or the other man, the report states.

Thomas said he was not aware that he fired two shots into the neighbor’s house or that he shot the neighbor’s dog. Officers found seven spent shell casings on the front porch and driveway. Police took Thomas into custody and transported him to jail, where he remained Tuesday afternoon, following the hearing.


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