Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Warrant issued in Price Hill homicide

By Jane Prendergast, jprendergast@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two Price Hill brothers sought after a fatal shooting Sunday night in the neighborhood remained fugitives Monday, as friends of the victim said they never suspected an argument would turn deadly.

        According to Shawn Stith, a friend of Gary Royce, who was killed, the argument was over a woman.

        Homicide detectives issued a murder warrant for Thomas Ray Meadows, 23. They also issued a warrant for aggravated robbery against his brother Jonathan Meadows, 21, stemming from an unrelated incident Saturday night.

        “Apparently they had words earlier and we believe this was a carry-over from that,” Lt. Steve Kramer said.

        “We knew they were mad,” Mr. Stith said. “but we thought it would just be a fight, you know.”

        Mr. Stith said he had gone to get beer at the corner United Dairy Farmers store when Mr. Royce, 25, was shot in the side of the head on Rutledge Avenue. Mr. Royce was found shortly before 10 p.m., lying in the front yard of The Rutledge apartments.

        “That was cold-blooded murder,” Mr. Stith said. “He was a good dude. Nobody deserves that,” Mr. Stith said.

        He said Mr. Royce had several children and a girlfriend who's about five months pregnant.

        Mr. Royce became the 33rd homicide victim in the city so far this year, compared with 20 by this time last year. At this pace, the city will top last year's total of 61, which was a 14-year record high.

        Officers who work in Price Hill said Rutledge Avenue has a split personality — peaceful on one side of Glenway Avenue, but problematic and drug-infested in part of the other side, where Mr. Royce was shot.


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