STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – According to Struthers police, a 4-year-old boy is dead and four others — two men and two women — have been taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds following a shooting in the city early Monday morning.
“The child tragically died in his mother’s arms,” Struthers Police Chief Tim Roddy said in a press release. The child belonged to one of the women.
The two men are facing life-threatening injuries.
The shooting happened at 111 Perry St. around 2 a.m. The women who were shot said a man barged into the house and started shooting.
The suspect ran away and police are still looking for him.
“My detectives were at the hospital and spoke to the two female victims, who gave us a slight understanding of what had happened.”
The victims described the suspect as a younger, thin, light-skinned black man who was wearing a black jacket at the time. They told police they didn’t know who he was.
All four adult victims are in their 20s and are friends.
Investigators from the coroner’s office cradled the body of the child as they brought him out to sobs almost as soon as the front door of the house opened just before 6 a.m.
“We just went over because I heard screaming and I didn’t know what else to do,” Matthew Tallman said. “I just went over there to see if everything was OK.”
Tallman, a neighbor, was the first one there after the shooting.
“I walked up into the house, asked if the shooter was still there and they said no. So then I looked over to my left and there was a kid in her arms, and he was gone,” Tallman said.
The tragedy is shocking to him.
“I’ve lived here for three months and I’ve only had the cops come up and down here twice. I would have never even have thought of that ever happening,” Tallman said.
The sister of the woman who lives there said she has no idea who could’ve done this.
She said everyone was in the same room when the shooter came in.
She said they had been living in the house for eight months.
Officers say nothing was stolen so they don’t think it was a robbery attempt.
Around 6:45 a.m., police were having a car in front of the house towed away.
About 8 a.m., investigators with K9s started going door-to-door, asking neighbors for surveillance videos or any information.
“We have all the necessary assistance, which is going to help us piece everything together and, hopefully, find the suspect and find a reason for all this,” Roddy said.
The Mahoning County Homicide Task Force is investigating and the Youngstown, Campbell and Mill Creek police departments are helping as well.
If you have any information, call Crimestoppers Youngstown at 330-746-CLUE or Struthers police at 330-755-9849.
According to the FBI, a mass shooting is whenever three or more people are shot, not including the shooter.
The last time there was a mass shooting in our area was February 9 of this year. Five people were shot, three of them killed, at the Brothers of Power Classic Cars Club on Logan Avenue in Youngstown.
Robert Shelton is currently awaiting trial for aggravated murder in that case. He pleaded not guilty.
Before that, five people were shot in February 2017 in Howland. Two of them, a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old, died.
Prosecutors say the shooter, Nasser Hamad, had been arguing with a group on social media and coaxed them to an ambush at his house.
Hamad, who claimed he acted in self-defense, was convicted in the case. He died in prison.