Police believe homicide victims shot each other

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - A large crowd gathered Thursday night as police investigated Youngstown’s latest homicides, which police said was the result of a shootout between two men.

The shooting occurred in the 1400 block of Willow Court in the Rockford Village housing complex on the east side. The victims were identified Friday morning as Charles Moore, 23, and Marquell McLane, 27.

Police said the two were arguing and it is believed they shot each other to death. Police found McLane lying face up, dead, near a trash container in the side yard of 1459 Maplewood Court, according to a police report.

After more officers arrived on the scene, police found Moore in the driver’s seat of a green Chevy Malibu parked in front of 1465 Dogwood Lane, a short distance away from where they found McLane. Moore was bleeding from a wound on the side of his upper chest and was dead. A gun was found near him, according to the report.

A woman told police she was exiting the same car as Moore when she heard gunfire, grabbed her child from the back seat and fled, the report states.

“It is still an open investigation. We are still gathering the evidence and talking to witnesses,” Youngstown Police Det. Capt. Brad Blackburn said.

Moore was supposed to be sentenced on gang-related charges next week. He was named in a secret indictment, accused of being a member of the drug-dealing street gang “Vic Boys” in 2013.

According to Mahoning County Common Pleas Court records, McLane was charged with carrying a concealed weapon two separate times: Once in 2008 and once in 2011. McLane pleaded guilty both times, serving one year of community service the first time and six months in prison the second time.

Thursday’s shootout occurred right in the area where, two years ago, 7-year-old Bryce Linebaugh was struck in the head by a stray bullet and killed while sleeping in his bed. Neighbors said the housing project is plagued with crime and drug activity.

They didn’t want to speak on camera for fear of retaliation.

Last year, Biggy’s apartment was shot.

“Out of nowhere, they started shooting. And they almost killed, at that time, he was 3 years old,” she said.

Biggy said she thinks police try to keep residents safe.

“I think they are trying. We don’t see that much police out here, but I think they are trying,” she said.

Another neighbor, Lynette, said the police are not trying hard enough.

“There is people that get stabbed, that get beat up. And they [police] might not come for two hours. No, it ain’t right. These is people’s lives they are playing with,” Lynette said.

Police said they do what they can to protect the area.

“We have several details, including the YMHA detail, that patrols that area regularly, along with the beat cars in that area. I don’t think it is any higher crime than some of the other areas in the city, but unfortunately it is a densely populated area,” Blackburn said.

Police have no further suspects.

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