Crime in Cleveland growing Memorial Day raises city’s death toll

James W. Wade III | 5/28/2014, 9:45 a.m.
The suspect who had been shot was located at Avon and East 112th Street and taken into custody.

On Tuesday afternoon as public safety officials – Police Chief Calvin Williams, Fire Chief Patrick Kelly and EMS Commissioner Nicole Carlton – held a press conference to address four homicides that happened over the holiday weekend, Cleveland police were simultaneously investigating a fifth shooting.

Residents in the area reported hearing shots fired around 2 p.m. at East 99th Street and Nelson Avenue. When police arrived, an unidentified man was found lying on the sidewalk. The victim was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he died. There were no reported witnesses to the incident.

As Chief Calvin Williams addressed the overall safety and the importance of community involvement and personal responsibility, he stressed that “somebody knows what happened,” he said referring directly to the death of Jaleel Tolbert, 19, who was murdered heinously at a neighborhood block party around 9 p.m. in the area of East 123rd Street and Tuscora Avenue. Police from all five districts responded and said nearly 300 people were in the streets when they showed up.

“They need to give us that information because people are dead, and their loved ones need to know justice will be done,” said Chief Williams. “People have to know they will be protected,” he said. “You can't be afraid to protect your community. …Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be a family time; cookouts and picnics in the park. To our dismay, the summer of 2014 has gotten off to a violent start and this past weekend, we saw homicides, shootings, stabbings and two fatal accidents. This must stop.”

But the day following Tolbert’s death, Memorial Day, the body of Charles Broughton Jr., 37, was found by police with a gunshot wound to the chest on the 16900 block of Langly Avenue in Cleveland. Within five minutes, a body was found in a parking lot near 131st Street and Taft Avenue. The body was on fire.

Prior to Tolbert’s death, at 5:30 pm on Saturday, May 24 police went to the 7200 block of Hecker Avenue. The preliminary investigation reveals that officers responded for multiple shots fired. Upon arrival, they found 30-year-old Myron Anderson suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. The victim was found on the sidewalk and transported in critical condition to MetroHealth Medical Center. There have been no arrests or suspects at this time.

At approximately 11 a.m. last Thursday, May 22 in the 1100 block of E. 71, it was confirmed that there was one male victim of a gunshot wound to the rear end who had been transported to Metro for treatment.

The preliminary investigation reveals that the victim and suspect know one another and that they became involved in a verbal confrontation that was followed by the suspect shooting the victim. Further investigation revealed that the suspect may be in a house in the 1100 block of East 71st Street. The SWAT Unit responded to check that house. The suspect was not located.

That night, at 9:25 p.m., police received a call to E. 137th St. and Byron Avenue for shots fired and a motor vehicle accident with damage to power lines. Upon arrival they located the victim in a vehicle, which had struck a pole, with a gunshot wound to his head. The passenger of the vehicle was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment for injuries due to the accident. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. The passenger reportedly did not know the identity of the suspect.