As you are aware, Cleveland Heights has experienced three shootings over the course of the last two weeks. At this time there is no evidence to suggest that these three incidents are related. We do believe however, that the first two incidents were not random and we are continuing to investigate Sunday mornings shooting.
On September 12, Malik Moore was killed on Oakdale Road near Lee Rd. He was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. Again, we believe that Malik knew his assailant and this was not a random act of violence. No suspects have been identified as of yet, but our Detectives are working diligently to gather additional evidence and uncover leads that will help us identify suspects.
On Wednesday, September 16th another shooting fatality occurred. Travon Powell was shot three times in the stairwell of the apartment building where he resides in the 2400 block of Noble Road and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The investigation determined that there was an altercation inside the victim’s apartment prior to his murder and that he knew his assailant. On September 18th two suspects were apprehended. 21-year-old Jahmontay Harder was located and arrested at a family member’s residence in East Cleveland and is charged with Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Robbery and Weapons Under Disability. 20-year-old Teighlor Johnson was also arrested and she is being charged with Aggravated Murder and Aggravated Robbery.
This past Sunday morning just after 1:00 am, a 24-year old man (Reginald Thomas Jr.) was shot while traveling down South Taylor Road. Reginald was the passenger in a vehicle being driven by a 26 year old woman. From the video we have obtained and reviewed thus far, it appears that a 4-door black (or dark) sedan was shooting at a red car that was seen passing the victims car, also red. The suspects in the black 4-door vehicle fired multiple shots, one of which hit the victim riding in the car (second red car). Detectives are working around the clock to gather more information. They are also canvasing homes and businesses to see about additional video footage.
At each of these three incidents patrols arrived in minutes, if not seconds in some cases. The officers immediately initiated CPR and other measures to help the victims until the EMS arrived and transported them to area hospitals.
The City has made every effort to curb all crime, which resulted in three years of meaningful decreases in violent crimes. Today, we continue to enhance efforts made by the police department to minimize crimes – increased patrols throughout the City, more of a police presence in the areas where the shootings took place, as well as in other areas that may have experienced an increase in criminal activity. We’ve added three new K9s to the force to help with deterrence and tracking suspects in crimes. Detectives are working overtime and we are determined to get to the bottom of each of these cases.
The CHPD needs the help and cooperation of our residents and the public. It may be a cliché’ but if you see something, say something. If something looks a little off or suspicious, don’t hesitate to notify the police. And, if you are a witness to a crime, please come forward – you can provide your tip anonymously by calling 216-321-1234 or CrimeStoppers at 216-252-7463. Reward money is available.
I would like to just reinforce that the safety of our residents and visitors is the number one priority for the CHPD, and we will continue to work diligently to keep Cleveland Heights a desirable place to live, raise a family, shop, and dine.
Just a few reminders – and most importantly, be alert and aware of your surroundings. Look out for your neighbors. And, do not be afraid to come forward. The best deterrent, and the quickest way to solve any crimes is with an active citizenry.
After you hear from City Manager Niermann-O’Neil and Vice Mayor Kahlil Seren, I will take a couple questions, but unfortunately I do not have much more to add at this time.
(As prepared for delivery)