Tuesday, July 24, 2001

2 men die in latest act of gun violence

Man in custody for questioning

By Michael D. Clark and Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two men in an SUV that overturned on a normally quiet Pleasant Ridge street were shot to death Monday night.

Rescue workers cover a body of a man shot to death in the overturned SUV.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        A few hours later, Silverton and Cincinnati police took Montez Taylor, 23, of Sampson Lane in Silverton, into custody at his residence for questioning. Police said he surrendered peacefully. Charges were not immediately filed.

        Witnesses told police the men were shot through the windows at point-blank range by a driver who had been chasing them.

        The shooter sped away just after 7 p.m. as the two men lay dying in the wrecked vehicle in the yard of a Dryden Street apartment building in a neighborhood residents said was always peaceful.

        Police seized a vehicle at Taylor's Sampson Lane address. Hamilton County court records show Mr. Taylor drives a red, two-door Ford Escort like one witnesses described at the scene of the shooting.

        Investigators could not offer a motive for the chase that preceded the shooting, which involved the red Honda SUV and the Escort. Sgt. Tom Lanter, a homicide supervisor, said the men in the vehicles were involved in some type of altercation a few minutes before the wreck and shooting.

        He said it was too soon to say whether the incident was drug- or gang-related. He could not yet publicly identify the dead men, but said both were black — one was in his early 20s, the other in his late 20s to early 30s.

        He would not say whether the dead men were armed.

        The men became the 79th and 80th shooting victims in Cincinnati since the protests and riots of April 9-12. They're also the 24th and 25th homicide victims this year. That compares with 18 killings by this time last year.

        Neighbor Bruce Sheley and other residents rushed to the SUV, which had flipped on its side, to help the men inside.

        “I could see the back of one man in the back seat — his back was covered with blood and he was moving,” Mr. Sheley said. The driver of the SUV was not moving and had no apparent signs of life, he said.

        Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive one of the men at the scene, but were unsuccessful, Mr. Sheley said.

        “We don't have a motive and we don't know exactly how it occurred,” Sgt. Brian Ibold said.

        He added that homicide investigators would be interviewing as many as 20 witnesses, and that was expected to continue into the early morning.

        Mr. Taylor has a history of minor drug arrests — in July 2000 for minor misdemeanor drug abuse; in December 1999 for possession of drug paraphernalia; and he was cited to court this March for drug abuse for having less than 100 grams of marijuana. He also was convicted in July 1999 of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

        Neighbor Betty Jean Milton was “shocked to see a car overturned in my doorway,” she said about an hour after the shooting.

        “I was very upset. This is a nice quiet neighborhood and I've never seen anything like this before.”


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