Gunfire on Youngstown’s south side still a concern for police

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Some people living on the south side say the sounds of gunshots are constant

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Concerns over shootings on Youngstown’s south side are arising, so we went straight to city leaders looking for answers on behalf of neighbors.

On Saturday night, police responded to a shooting on Youngstown’s south side on Samuel Avenue.

“Unfortunately, whether it’s been the last three years or not, definitely over the last few weeks and months, the south side has definitely had its challenges,” said Youngstown City Council President DeMaine Kitchen.

A man in his twenties was shot in his upper torso and brought to the hospital by police.

“The officer, who is a military veteran, immediately recognized that the wound needed to be sealed immediately if the victim was to survive,” said Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees.

Chief Lees said Monday afternoon that the victim is still alive. But for other victims of gun violence on Youngstown’s south side this year, that hasn’t been the case.

“There’s kind of an ebb and flow to it, it’s hard to predict at times but we’re kind of on par. Our numbers are up a little bit this year as far as gun violence goes but it’s not extraordinary right now,” Chief Lees said.

According to Chief Lees, it’s also random gunshots that they’re often responding to, shown as calls to 911 or to their shot spotter cameras.

“Frequently nobody is injured but we will find evidence that there had been some shooting, whether it’s shell casings or, you know, a vehicle or a house or some property has been struck by the gunfire,” Chief Lees said.

Some people living on the south side say the sounds of gunshots are constant.

“It’s unfortunately become the norm and there are people who have lived in those neighborhoods for years who are fed up. They don’t want to surrender their neighborhoods to the streets but from their perspective, it may seem hopeless,” Kitchen said.

Kitchen also said it’s a community effort, for law enforcement, city officials and residents to try and get the shooting situation under control on the south side.

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