LORAIN — In a span of about 2 1/2 weeks, Lorain police responded to close to 10 shootings throughout the city.
According to police reports, no one was injured in any of the shootings between March 21 and April 6, though several houses or cars were damaged and a number of people have been arrested for weapons violations. Several incidents were on or near East 29th Street.
2500 block of East 29th
On March 27, shortly after 10 p.m., police responded to East 29th and Charleston Avenue for a shots-fired complaint. Dispatch sent officers to the 2500 block of East 29th.
A man had been helping another man jump-start a vehicle parked in front of the house when they were shot at several times. One witness reported as many as six shots fired and saw the muzzle flash from a gun and a man standing next to a car firing at the men trying to jump-start a vehicle.
The man who had been helping the other man jump-start the car pulled out of the driveway once the shooting started, dragging the jumper cables with him, according to the report. He told police he had been asked if he could help the man jump-start his car, but did not know him or anyone who lived in the house near the shooting.
Police found several bullet holes in the man’s car. The man pointed out the new damage was in his rear left-side door and side-view mirror.
Just more than a week later, police responded to the same area along East 29th.
About 10 p.m. April 3, police responded to a neighbor’s house of the March 27 shooting, regarding a shots-fired complaint. The homeowner reported he was upstairs with his daughter when he heard five to six shots. He told police he saw his front window had four bullet holes in it, going into his living room walls. He told police there have been a number of complaints of shootings at his neighbor’s house and was unsure if whoever shot at his house had the wrong address or was targeting him for speaking to police regarding previous shootings.
Police found a spent round at the bottom of his steps, as well as several casings in the street outside the home.
At 9:15 p.m. April 5, police were ramping up patrols in the area due to an increase in drive-by shootings, when roughly a half-hour later eight to 10 shots were fired from a vehicle at the same house involved in the March 27 shooting. Police found six casings in the street in front of the house and damage to the siding.
About 10:30 p.m. that night, police stopped a Honda Accord in the parking lot of Roman’s Grocery store, 2957 Pearl Ave., and officers recognized the car’s occupants as residents or associates of the East 29th Street house involved in the drive-by shooting evening earlier, including people with previous weapons charges.
After searching the vehicle, police found a 9 mm Smith & Wesson firearm loaded with hollow point bullets in the passenger-door compartment of the vehicle, in immediate reach of Andrew Smith, 19, of Lorain. Smith told police he thought he was the target of the night’s earlier incidents at the East 29th Street house, but said he was not coming from the house, rather the west side. The police report notes a call came in for shots fired at 9:44 p.m. near West 18th Street and Hamilton Avenue, though it was unclear if Smith and those in the car were involved.
Smith was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle.
West 29th Street
In the same time frame that police were responding to the houses on East 29th Street, they also were called to several incidents along West 29th Street.
Starting March 28, the department’s Narcotics Unit was conducting surveillance on the 1200 block of West 29th Street due to complaints of drug activity at a residence. The report notes the house has been the target of a number of drive-by shootings over the past two years.
About 2:20 p.m. police saw three men leave the house and drive east on West 29th Street, with the driver stopping in the crosswalk at the stop sign at Oberlin Avenue.
During an ensuing traffic stop, police found marijuana, a digital scale, and a loaded Smith & Wesson handgun.
As a result of the stop, driver Maurice Williams, 18, of Lorain, was charged with trafficking in marijuana with a firearm; carrying a concealed weapon; improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle; drug paraphernalia; possession of marijuana; stop sign violation and operating a vehicle without a valid license. Passenger Dejuan Jones, 25, of Lorain, was charged with disorderly conduct; disorderly conduct persisting; possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. The other passenger, David Smith, 25, of Lorain, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Less than a week later, police responded to calls of shots fired in the 1200 block of West 29th Street. Shortly before 1 a.m. April 2, police responded to the home, finding it “riddled” with bullet holes through the front window. The woman who lived there said she and her daughter were in bed when their home was shot at. Neither woman was hurt. Police found the front windows and those on the east side of the home were struck multiple times, with rounds penetrating the interior walls and hitting a mirror above a couch in the living room. A car in the driveway also was shot twice in the rear window. Police recovered a total of 18 casings from the scene.
A neighbor’s surveillance camera caught the incident, showing three men get out of a vehicle and open fire on the house before running back to the vehicle and driving away.
The next day, police again responded to the same block, but to a different house, for shots fired.
At 12:47 a.m. police responded to a home where a man said was shot at five times. Police found at least four bullet holes on the south side of the house, with one found in the closet and others leaving holes on the interior walls. A neighbor’s security footage showed a vehicle entering the frame driving west on West 29th Street toward Ashland Avenue, then five gunshots can be heard, according to the report.
Other incidents from late March and early April include a drive-by shooting on the 1200 block of West 13th Street at 12:21 a.m. March 21. The incident left five bullet holes in a residence, four on the first floor and a fifth into a second-story bedroom. A bullet and six casings were recovered, and no one was injured in the incident.
About midnight March 24 in the 3800 block of Clifton Avenue, police responded to a drive-by that damaged a vehicle belonging to the resident’s ex-husband. The resident told police it is not the first time her house has been shot at, noting about a year and a half ago her son was shot in the neck.
The next week, police responded to the 800 block of West 23rd Street about 12:15 a.m. April 5. Police found a bullet hole through the front door of the residence. The woman who lives there told police she was on the couch in the living room when she heard what she thought was a loud knock at the front door. She opened the door to find the glass in the storm door broken and a hole in the door. There was a bullet hole through a living room wall and into the kitchen, and another hole through a basement door.
About 3:40 a.m. April 6, police responded to a 911 hang-up call from the 1900 block of West 27th Street. The woman who lived there told police the father of her child, later identified as Aaron Harrison, 26, of Lorain, was at her back door pointing a handgun at her and other residents. Police later saw Harrison in the doorway to an apartment in the 2500 block of Marshall Avenue waving a pistol. He was given orders to get on the ground, but retreated into the building, according to the report. He later surrendered. Police searched his girlfriend’s apartment, where he had retreated to, and found cocaine on a plate in the kitchen.
After the incident, Harrison was charged with aggravated burglary, domestic violence, aggravated menacing, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. His girlfriend, Nellie Gomez, 26, of Lorain, was charged with possession of drugs cocaine, resisting arrest, endangering children, misconduct at an emergency and obstructing official business.