YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The family of a man killed in downtown Youngstown early Sunday morning is speaking out about what happened and the reason they feel he was killed.
Yarnell Green, better known as Yaya to his family and friends, was shot outside of O’Donald’s around 1:40 a.m., just a few days before he was set to appear in court, according to his sister.
“Y’all killed him on the 18th and knew he had to go to court on the 22nd,” said Green’s sister, Shayla Blair.
Back in September 2020, Green was the victim of a fatal robbery where five people were shot, including 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney, who did not survive. Green and three other adults survived the attack, and Green’s sister says he was scheduled to appear in a court case in connection to that shooting.
Blair questions whether or not this had something to do with why her brother was killed.
“Y’all robbed my brother’s life. Y’all took a great man, and he didn’t do nothing to them from the get-go. Y’all robbed him, y’all took his money. He ain’t sell no drugs, he wasn’t no drug dealer,” Blair said.
The night Green was killed, his mom said she picked him up from work and he told her he was going downtown. He asked her if she needed anything and looked at her and said, “I love you mom.” The last words she would ever hear him say.
Blair said he was inside O’Donald’s when some people were arguing with him. Green began to exit the building, but someone ran up behind him outside and shot him multiple times.
Green fell to the ground but he quickly got up and tried to run. He got a few feet away before he fell again. He was taken to the hospital, and Blair says they were told he was revived several times.
“He died on the scene, they brung him back. He got to the hospital, they brung him back. They did surgery, then he flatlined,” she said. “I can understand why he didn’t have it in him because they already shot him up, seven – eight times, and he still wasn’t recovered from there.”
She said she had to break the news to his kids.
“I had to tell them the only way you’re gonna see your daddy is in heaven, but you’ll see him again in a box,” she said.
Blair says when Green was shot, people on social media put up live videos showing his body and she had to see her brother lying on the ground. She said it was disrespectful and insensitive.
“I asked God to teach me how to live without my baby, but I thank God for giving me 32 years,” said Green’s mom, Harriet Blair. “You’ll never take my memories, you’ll never take the love of a mother, of her child, from me.”
Blair says Green was a barber, a father of three, worked in a restaurant and ever since the 2020 shooting was working to recover physically and mentally.
“It’s not his fault they came in there and did that. He didn’t know they was gonna rob them, he didn’t know that that baby was gonna get killed. He’s a dad, and he loved [Rowan], he loved him,” she said.
We asked Assistant Prosecutor Mike Yacovone if Green was supposed to testify, but he declined to comment at this time.
So far, one person has been arrested, 23-year-old Johnny Serrano, and police say there are other parties involved. Police are still investigating and ask that anyone who has any information contact police at 330-742-8911 or CrimeStoppers Youngstown at 330-746-CLUE.