Mayor responds to call to tear down murder house

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Residents living in a southeast Warren neighborhood where a couple was shot, leaving one dead and the other injured, said they called city leaders about issues at the house in the past and nothing was done.

Neighbors said they have seen police at the South Street house in the past, and police reports indicate at least two calls were made to the residence: one for menacing and the other for felonious assault.

Warren Police Lieutenant Jeff Cole said on Tuesday that the house isn’t one that stands out as a trouble spot, but said there were some incidents there in the past.

“I know of at least one other shooting that has taken place there where somebody sustained a gunshot wound to the foot,” said Cole.

When asked about the neighborhood complaints and how they were addressed, Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said there is a process for the community and police to work together.

“That is a legal hurdle or threshold on numbers of complaints, citizens of complaints and a documented pattern of calls for service on a house. That is how you get those things started,” said Franklin.

Evelyn Milleson lives near the home where the Monday night shooting took place that left James Levels dead and Lisa Prater injured. Milleson said after all the latest violence and the history of the property, she wants to see the house demolished.

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“They really need to tear it down or something because it is not getting any better,” said Milleson. “I called the mayor’s office, but they haven’t returned my call.”

WKBN First News asked Franklin about those calls and he said many factors are considered before a house is slated for demolition.

“We can look into that, but if the house is salvageable, then there is a whole process that has to take place before we take a house down,” said Franklin.

Franklin added that he is committed to working with people in the community to rid the city of violence and crime and welcomes calls to his office or the Warren police department.

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