Wednesday, May 01, 2002
Man hurt in shootout
Gunfire traded through door of Covington house
By Ray Schaefer
COVINGTON A shootout Tuesday in Covington's Austinburg neighborhood sent a Cincinnati man to University Hospital.
Shotgun blasts fired from outside the door of a house in the 1500 block of Eastern Avenue were returned from within, striking a man outside in the right shoulder.
Hospital spokeswoman Donna Buckler said Pernell Williams, 35, of the West End, was listed in good condition with a gunshot wound.
Ron Trenkamp of Covington police examines a front door struck by a shotgun blast on Tuesday as Sgt. Spike Jones (right) talks with an unidentified man.|
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
It was a pistol from inside and a shotgun from outside, Covington Police spokesman Sgt. Teal Nally said.
According to Sgt. Nally, Mr. Williams was taken to the Covington fire station at East 11th and Robbins streets by unknown subjects, who dropped him off for treatment. He was taken to University from there.
Mr. Williams had been out of a prison in Ohio just 13 days. He was released April 17 after serving 3 1/2 months on a breaking-and-entering charge for pushing out the air conditioner at the Jet In Market in the West End last August, climbing in and taking $45 worth of Black and Mild cigars. The theft was caught on videotape.
In April 2001, he pleaded no contest to breaking the curfew that Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken set to curb rioting.
A woman was taken in handcuffs from the house, but a statement from police said no arrests had been made. Sgt. Nally couldn't confirm whether the woman lived at the home.
As for the facts of the shooting, we have conflicting stories, Sgt. Nally said.
The events leading up to Tuesday's shooting began about 11 a.m., when a van parked across Eastern Avenue from the house.
We don't know who the people in the van were, Sgt. Nally said.
Diane Caple, who lives across Eastern Avenue from the shooting, was on her way to buy cigarettes at the time at the Main Mart convenience store a block away.
I (saw) these three black guys walking up the street, said Mrs. Caple, 49. I saw them open the gate (in front of the house). I still didn't pay attention to them; they saw me look at them. I just kept on walking.
Then I heard a boom.
Other neighbors thought the sound was a car engine backfiring, but the front door revealed evidence of what happened a cluster of buckshot and at least one smaller hole above that.
Sgt. Nally also didn't know whether anyone involved in the shootings had any connection with Monday's drug sweeps, in which police sought to serve 45 warrants on trafficking charges, 13 of them to people from Cincinnati.
On Monday, police identified the area near 12th and Robbins streets as one of the city's hot spots for drug dealing. Rick Ludlum, vice president of the Austinburg Neighborhood Association, said he once rented the home where the shooting occurred. He said Tuesday's incident is the latest in an area that has seen a large increase in drug-related crimes over the past three years.
This is the worst thing that's happened, said Mr. Ludlum, 48. A lot of residents are frustrated. The drug dealings are ongoing, more in the summmer.
Jane Prendergast contributed to this report.
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