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Anti-violence activist in Youngstown shot and killed

Staff file photo, 2022 William “Shimmie” Miller

YOUNGSTOWN — A local mentor and activist, William “Shimmie” Miller, who transformed his life to help children in the community after two decades in prison was the victim of a fatal shooting Wednesday night, police said.

The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office on Thursday identified Miller, a South Side native, as the man police found shot dead inside a vehicle in the 900 block of Steel Street near Salt Springs Road.

No further details have been provided by police regarding what led to the shooting.

Miller became a respected figure in the community since his release from prison in 2019, as many friends and family members on social media lauded him as a source of hope for the youth.

Miller founded the Youngstown RESPECT basketball league, which aside from sports offered employment assistance, life skills and educational training.

In 2022, when interviewed about the league by The Vindicator, Miller said it gives young men and women the chance to get to know and respect one another.

Miller was a member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, which is a collective of individuals advocating for equal justice for African Americans and minorities within the criminal justice system.

Miller’s killing was the city’s 11th homicide of the year and the third since Sunday.

The violence began earlier this week when an 18-year-old woman, identified as Te’nya McKinley, was fatally shot during a car meet Sunday night on Glenwood Avenue near Sherwood Avenue.

A news release from Youngstown police indicates that despite “dozens of vehicles and people participating in these car meets,” officers say nobody has come forward with information regarding the homicide despite the presence of “numerous” witnesses to the shooting.

Just two days later, 19-year-old Zariyan Dothard, was shot to death in the 500 block of East Judson Avenue on the city’s South Side. A teenage suspect, Lyndale Wilkins Jr., 17, was turned in by family “at the same time,” according to Youngstown Police.

Wilkins appeared in Mahoning County Juvenile Court on Thursday in front of Magistrate Karen Romano Melone and remains in detention at the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center.

Each homicide is being investigated by the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office and the Youngstown Police Department.

Have an interesting story? Contact Chris McBride by email at cmcbride@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.

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