The family of 25-year-old Youngstown University senior Jamail Johnson can find comfort this morning from the fact that his murderers are already in custody.
Two men angry over a dispute at an Ohio fraternity house party left the gathering and returned early Sunday, spraying bullets into a crowd and killing a Youngstown State University student who was trying to separate two groups, authorities said. Eleven other people were injured, including a 17-year-old with a critical head wound.
The men were arrested and charged later Sunday with aggravated murder, shooting into a house and 11 counts of felonious assault, Youngstown police Chief Jimmy Hughes said. The suspects are in their early 20s and from the Youngstown area, but Hughes withheld their names pending further investigation.
“These guys were in the location for a little while before the shooting occurred,” he said. “Something happened that they became unhappy. They had some type of altercation.”
The shooting occurred at a two-story brick house in a neighborhood of once-elegant homes, many of which are now boarded up. The house party had been bustling with 50 or more people early Sunday, Hughes said.
“Somebody just got shot!” a caller tells a dispatcher on a recording of the 911 call.
The Mahoning County coroner’s office identified the dead student as 25-year-old Jamail E. Johnson. He was shot once in the head and multiple times in his hips and legs; an autopsy is planned Monday, said Dr. Joseph Ohr, a forensic pathologist with the coroner’s office.
Capt. Rod Foley said Johnson apparently was trying to separate two groups when he was shot.
“(Johnson) was just an excellent, excellent young man, and our loss runs deep,” said Christopher Cooper, a legal officer for Omega Psi Phi fraternity. The senior had recently traveled to North Carolina for a fraternity program emphasizing manhood and scholarship, Cooper said.
Johnson’s fraternity brothers were trying to decide whether to return to the house, he said. They were “very solemn, very alarmed, very hurt,” Cooper said.
The 11 people who were injured ranged in age from 17 to 31. About half of them were shot in the foot, police said. Two were hit in the abdomen, and the most seriously hurt was the 17-year-old who was shot near one ear.