YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Police played video surveillance Friday showing how fast officers responded to a homicide downtown earlier this month.
Chief of Detectives Capt. Jason Simon said the first officer, who was working security for a downtown bar, responded in seven seconds. Three other officers were right on his heels, Simon said.
There were a total of eight city police officers downtown when Yarnell Green Jr., 32, was shot to death about 1:40 a.m. Sept. 18 at West Federal and Hazel streets.
Police said the shooting happened after Green and another man, Johnny Serrano, 23, of Campbell, argued at a nearby bar.
Serrano turned himself in to police the next day. He waived a preliminary hearing in his case this week in municipal court and had it bound over to a grand jury. He remains in the Mahoning County jail on $750,000 bond.
Simon and Lt. Mohammad Awad, of the Detective Bureau, played surveillance video of the officers responding. In the video, the first officer who responded was on the sidewalk of the bar where he was working security on West Federal Street. When he hears the shots, he moves to the side and places his hand on his gun.
He waits a few seconds before he can find out where the shots are coming from then runs towards the shooting.
Three other officers race by seconds later, one of them waving people back inside and to safety. They responded within 20 seconds, Simon said.
On the morning of the homicide, three officers and a patrol supervisor were assigned to downtown and four other officers were working private security in uniform for other establishments. Simon said there were more than enough officers downtown that morning to keep everyone safe.
“No one wants the downtown to look like an occupied territory,” Simon said. “There’s not a police officer on every corner. That’s not feasible.”
Simon said both Green and Serrano had a beef and they would have argued wherever they were. It just happened to be that they ran into each other downtown, he said.