Warren police investigate shootings, city plans to press charges - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Warren police investigate shootings, city plans to press charges

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WARREN, Ohio- In the wake of two shootings on New Year's Day in Warren, city leaders are working together to combat and prevent future gun-related crimes.

Several rounds were fired at a party on Colonial Street at 4 p.m. and earlier that morning gunfire erupted at the Sunset Lounge on Market Street. The bar shootings left Cory Blackwell, 25, of Warren dead.

"I just think that the violence needs to stop, not only because this is happening to my family, but just period," said Kiarra Blackwell-Nelms, Blackwell's niece. "No one derserves to lose their life the way he did."

A woman who was at the bar during the shooting says a bullet grazed her foot.

Danee Williams tells 21 News she heard shots fired inside and outside the bar after a fight on the dance floor. Williams says her injury was minor.

With 62 on staff at the Warren Police Department, Chief Tim Bowers says his department is an 82 man job.

2013 brings a new budget which will allow for the hiring of five new officers, still not enough to change the workload for his officers and detectives.

"I'd like to be more proactive, I would like to do some preventative policing, but with the current staffing that's not possible," Bowers said.

"We have enough people and we will respond. If a citizen calls police a policeman or woman will show up and that's the only promise I can give you," Bowers said.

City hall is also utilizing all resources to shutdown the Sunset Lounge.

The city law department is working to bring a nuisance charge against the Market Street bar. City Councilman Greg Bartholomew says nuisance charges could be filed against the bar by the end of the week.

After a year filled with police response calls to the lounge in 2012, Warren's mayor says enough is enough and gun violence won't be tolerated.

"I want to make sure that business owners understand that they have a responsibility to monitor, especially if you carry a liquor license, you need to, you have a responsibility for security and to make sure guns aren't allowed into your establishment," Mayor William Franklin said.

Franklin says the bar is expected to go before the state division of liquor control regarding its license. In the meantime, the mayor says he's been meeting with downtown businesses to gather suggestions for preventing future crimes.

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