YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A man wanted for a March 4 shooting death on Youngstown’s south side turned himself in at the Mahoning County Jail just hours after a press conference announcing a warrant was issued for his arrest.
A felonious assault and murder warrant had been issued for Erik Jenkins, 25. Jenkins was wanted for the murder of Thomas C. Williams and the wounding of Montell Scott.
Police held a press conference on Tuesday to provide updates on their investigation.
On at 11:54 p.m. Thursday, March 4, police received reports of multiple rounds of gunfire in the area of 3223 South Avenue. Upon arrival, officers found Williams dead in the parking lot.
Chief of Detectives Capt. Rod Foley said the second victim in the shooting that took the life of Williams was an armed security guard — Scott — hired by the management of the Kings Court Bar, which was formerly known as the Coconut Grove.
Foley said Jenkins fired several times toward the bar, and the guard returned fire. Investigators are awaiting the results of ballistics tests to determine if any of the guard’s bullets struck Williams, Foley said.
Scott is recovering from his injuries.
Police provided photos of the suspect and an accomplice, who they suspect of being involved in the crime.
It is not known if the man with Jenkins fired a gun also. Foley said that was not seen on video, but that does not mean he did at some other point.
Foley said there is no known connection between Jenkins and Williams, and they do not know why Jenkins would start firing a gun at the bar, although he added, “we have some theories.” He would not, however, expound on them.
Regardless if any of the rounds the guard fired struck Williams, city Law Director Jeff Limbian said that Jenkins is the one criminally responsible for Williams’ death because he began the course of actions by firing his weapon first.
Earlier in the day, Detective Sgt. Chad Zubal, the lead investigator on the case, said that investigators relied heavily on video to identify Jenkins as the shooter.
Zubal was also the lead investigator when another man, Marquis Bebbs, 35, was shot and killed outside the bar Nov. 19. Williams and Bebbs died less than 10 feet apart from each other.
In the Bebbs’ case, Bebbs was killed after he got in an argument inside the bar with the suspect in his killing, Abdul Muhammad, 29.
A murder warrant has been issued for Muhammad, but he has yet to be found. Investigators believe he may be in Columbus.
Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said he wanted to thank the community for their help in securing a warrant for Jenkins, saying they were very cooperative with investigators.
In the period between March 4 and March 10, eight people were shot in the city, three fatally.
For the year, Youngstown has five homicides. There were eight at this period last year and 28 overall.
Anyone with knowledge of the unknown man should contact the Youngstown Police Department.
All information can be given anonymously at (330) 746-CLUE or (330) 742-8YPD. Individuals providing information that leads to the arrest and convictions of these suspects will be eligible for a cash reward.