Warren city and community leaders say the recent rash of gun crimes have to stop.

"Be more responsible, think about what you're doing," Mayor Doug Franklin said. "Put these down, do what's right by your community."

Franklin says he spoke with Trumbull's NAACP president Tuesday morning about possible solutions to curb violence crime.

He along with other county leaders believe easier access to guns in Ohio and a breakdown in the family structure are part of a deeper problem and they want local churches to get involved.

"We need to really get to the heart of the problem and find out the why, why is this happening and you have to find out the why from people that's involved in doing it," Thomas Conley said, president of the Greater Warren-Youngstown Urban League.

Conley believes solutions need to include spiritual conversations between families and local churches. He says parents need to play an active role.

"Kids up to 18 years old have a mother and father, and where's accountability there? There has to be a conversation about that," Conley said.

He believes the city and police alone can't fix what leads up to the violence. Conley says a coordinated effort needs to take place.

"How do we make things accountable and also respectful, it has to be a bigger answer," he said.

Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel tells 21 News detectives are frustrated that recent gun crime victims and witnesses won't come forward with information.

On Sunday, a 19-year-old woman was killed in a shooting that happened in the parking lot outside of the Warren Heights apartments in the 400 block of Maryland Ave. NW.

Merkel is asking anyone who knows something about the shooting or other recent shootings to call the Warren Police Department through its anonymous tip line at 330-841-2658 or via email at [email protected].


Mayor Franklin says he's had conversations and meetings in recent years to discuss ways to prevent violent crime, especially among the city's youth and young adults. Now he says it's time to turn the talk into action.

"We have to get beyond talking and have an action plan," Franklin said. "That's what we'll be working on and we'll use all of the resources available for us."

Trumbull NAACP President Annette McCoy wants local clergy and places of worship to be part of the plan to help families that have a loved one that could be going down the wrong path.

"Yes, there's a breakdown in the family systems now, and the families need know 'I have a child or young person in my household that may be going down the wrong road, who can I reach out to?'," McCoy said.

McCoy says the NAACP is supportive of the efforts by the city and Warren police to deter gun violence. She also wants members of the community to have input on what's trending and the possible resources that can be used to curb crime.

Mayor Franklin says state funding and American Rescue Plan federal funding can be used to arm police with new camera, surveillance and drones in high crime areas.

"I think it's a smart idea to use some of those new technologies that exist that we have available not only through ARP monies, but through some of the state monies that we were granted through the governor's office, we'll be using all of those, so that we can increase police presence whether it's surveillance, whether it's drone activity," Franklin said.