YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Members of the city police department’s Neighborhood Response Unit overnight Thursday, with help from members of the Steel Penguin anti-gun detail, seized seven guns and arrested four adults and a juvenile.
The seizures give police at least 15 guns seized this week, a week that also saw one person shot to death early Sunday morning as well as one person shot to death and another person wounded within a 12-hour span Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
All but one of the guns seized this week was seized on the South Side. All three shootings were on the South Side.
Police dog Spawn also helped officers find two guns they say were tossed out of a car that was being chased about 11:15 p.m. after police tried to pulled it over for a traffic violation.
Reports said the car led officers on a chase through several South Side streets and twice someone threw something out of the car before it stopped in a drive in the 800 block of Roxbuy Avenue.
Three people jumped out and ran away, reports said. Police managed to tackle the driver, Javon Sutton-Elliot, 30, of Boardman but could not get him under control until they tased him, reports said.
Reports said police searched Sutton-Elliot and found $2,375 cash on him. Spawn and his handler, Officer Jacob Short, searched the area where police saw things thrown out of the car and reported finding a bag of heroin and two loaded .40-caliber handguns.
Sutton-Elliot was booked into the Mahoning County Jail on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, possession of drugs and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.
Sutton-Elliot is not allowed to have or be around a firearm because of a 2015 conviction in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for possession of heroin. In 2017, he was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, but the charge was amended obstruction of official business and he was placed on probation, which he violated, according to court records. He has a pending misdemeanor domestic violence warrant out of Boardman, according to court records.
About 8:55 p.m., NRU and Steel Penguin officers pulled over a car at South and East Indianola avenues after someone in the car was spotted throwing trash out the window, reports said.
Reports said police smelled marijuana in the car and the driver of the car gave police permission to search it. One of the back seat passengers, Kyshaun Hendrix, 18, kept hiding his hands. When he got out of the car, reports said officers found a loaded 9mm handgun between the door and the seat where he was sitting.
Police searched the car and also found a loaded .40-caliber handgun that was in a box and two bags of marijuana, reports said.
Hendrix was booked into the jail on a charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. A 17-year-old juvenile was also arrested on a gun charge, reports said. Reports said the .40-caliber handgun was reported stolen Jan. 30 in Youngstown.
About 5:10 p.m., police pulled over a car driven by Xavier Calhoun, 22, of Warren, for an illegal turn on West Indianola Avenue. Reports said Calhoun has a suspended license, and he gave police permission to search his car. Inside, they found two loaded 9mm handguns, including one that had an extended magazine as well as an empty drum magazine, 10 pills, 19 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, which is commonly used in AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles and $4,250 cash.
Calhoun was booked into the jail on charges of possession of drugs and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
About 2:55 p.m. at Market Street and West Philadelphia Avenue, police pulled over a car driven by Michael Martinez, 19, of East Lucius Avenue, for an improper turn. Reports said police saw a bag of marijuana in his pocket, and when asked if he had any guns in the car, Martinez sighed and said yes.
Police found a loaded 9mm handgun under the seat, reports said.
Martinez was booked into the jail on a charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
The NRU was created by police Chief Carl Davis. It is made up of five officers, all of whom worked regular South Side patrol beats, who concentrate on areas of the city where gun arrests and gun crimes are known to occur.
Operation Steel Penguin is a combined law enforcement made up of members of the city police department; Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office; the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the state Adult Parole Authority, that concentrates on looking for known gun offenders.