Man asks for help in solving cousin’s 2007 murder in Youngstown

Cold Case

Damnion Hill was shot to death in the parking lot of Larry's Lounge as an unrelated fight raged

Damnion Hill, murder victim.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Jai Price doesn’t get out much anymore.

He used to go places with his cousin, Damnion Hill. But the last time they went out, Hill was killed and Price was shot at.

Price said he thinks of his cousin every day. He is hoping his April 15, 2007 murder in a Hillman Street parking lot is solved.

Hill was shot to death about 2:05 a.m. in the parking lot of the old Larry’s Lounge while a large fight was raging elsewhere in the parking lot.

Police were already in another portion of the parking lot, trying to break up a large fight, when a man came up to them and said, “My cousin’s been shot!”

That man was Price, and he said he saw the shooting.

Price said he was going to Hill’s car when he saw a man around the corner. The man walked past the building and Price momentarily lost sight of him, Then, he heard his cousin yell.

“I turned and looked at my cousin and he shot him three times,” Price said.

Hill was getting into the driver’s seat of a car when he was shot.

“I’m looking at the guy, then he turned to shoot off two shots at me over the trunk,” Price said.

The man ran away and Price yelled for someone to call police, he said.

Price said his cousin was still alive immediately after he was shot, but it didn’t look good.

“I thought he was going to die,” Price said.

Of the detectives who investigated the case at the time, the supervisor has since died and the other one said he did not have his case notes to comment on why the case went cold.

Hill’s death is one of 39 homicides that detectives investigated in 2007, the last year the city had over 30 homicides in a year.

Price said he believes police did not do much of an investigation because his cousin was selling drugs at the time, but he added his cousin was not a violent person and never hurt anyone.

In September of 2007, detectives made a public plea for information in the case and offered a reward. The reward was never collected.

“He was just a good guy. He loved his kids. He took care of his family,” Price said.

Price did say that his cousin was a ladies man and he thinks a jealous husband or boyfriend is the person who killed his cousin.

Price said he has never been one to go out much, but his cousin liked to go out a lot and he always took Price with him. He still has his cousin’s picture, he said.

“The pain never really goes away,” Price said.

Anyone with information can call the Youngstown police Detective Bureau at 330-742-8911.

This story is part of a series of cold cases that WKBN is examining.

Do you have a cold case that you’d like us to look into further? Submit a cold case to WKBN.

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