An overnight shooting spree in Youngstown, Ohio has left two dead and eight wounded. A ten-year-old girl was listed among those who had been murdered.
According to our news affiliate WKBN, the girl was killed and three adults wounded in a shooting about 2:25 a.m. Wednesday in the 600 block of Samuel Avenue, and at South and Palmer Avenues about 2:20 a.m. police found a 40-year-old man shot to death in a pickup truck and his 42-year-old male passenger was wounded.
It is not clear where the victims at Palmer and South Avenues were first shot, but officers collected about 20 shell casings in the intersection of Palmer and Gibson Avenues.
Chief of Detectives Capt. Rod Foley said it is not known if both shootings are connected. He said detectives will be checking to see if there is a link.
On Samuel Avenue, a woman was shrieking as the body was taken out of the house.
“Please, let me see her! Please! Please! She’s the only daughter I have!”
The woman, later identified by her Facebook posts as Tayana Smith, said in a live video that she was urging the residents of the city to not retaliate and to let her handle things through the proper channels. Smith also questioned the city's Chief of Police and Mayor as to what they were going to do to stop the city's growing crime problem.
According to their website, the city of Youngstown, Ohio has recently received an $82.7 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) from the government and its priorities are eliminating blight by demolishing at least 500 vacant homes, improving housing quality for residents, cleaning up commercial corridors, increasing fresh food access for residents, improving transit accessibility, investing in parks and city youth, and stabilizing the city budget.
Residents of the city are calling for the city's mayor, Jamael Tito Brown, to use some of those funds toward bolstering the over worked and understaffed police department. According to Mayor Brown, those funds can't be used for the police department because they have their own set budget and the government won't sanction use of relief funds for the police department. Smith says that she spoke with an officer last night and that officer told her there were only eleven officers patrolling the entire city.
This gives the city 20 homicides for the year and a total of at least 89 people shot. Last year at this time, Youngstown had seen 56 people shot, including 17 of the 18 homicide victims.
Seven of the city’s homicide victims this year are 19 or younger. The girl on Samuel is the youngest victim this year. Three other victims were 19, one was 18, one was 17 and another 16.
The city ended 2020 with a total of 28 homicides, 27 by gunfire and 98 people shot overall.
In her video, Smith says she's "devastated" by the loss of her [adopted] daughter and calls for those in authority to fix the city's crime problem or step down.
Please say a prayer for this family and this city.