Friday, November 1, 2002

Details in West End shootings `sketchy'

One man dead, two others seriously injured early Thursday

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

When a man walked out of a West End cafe early Thursday morning and saw a man on the street shot in the head, it prompted a search that led to two more shooting victims.

With one Avondale man dead and twin brothers in critical and serious condition at University Hospital, police released few details Thursday into what might have occurred at 820 Charlotte Street.

Fabien Brandon, 23, of Avondale, was pronounced dead at the scene. He is the 52nd homicide victim in Cincinnati this year, putting the city ahead of last year's pace, when the 51st victim was killed on this date.

Last year was the highest homicide total in Cincinnati since 1987. The city's homicide rate has risen every year since 1998.

Mark Collins, 28, who lives in the apartment where the shooting took place around 2:30 a.m., was listed in serious condition at University Hospital, having been upgraded from critical condition Thursday afternoon.

His twin, Mike Collins, of Harrison Avenue in Westwood, remained in critical condition.

"At this time," police said in a release, "information is sketchy as to what occurred inside the apartment."

At 2:35 a.m., police received a call from a man leaving the Parktown CafÈ, who reported a man shot in the head near the intersection of Linn and Charlotte streets.

A second call came from Mark Collins, according to police dispatch records. A third call came from a woman who did not want to tell police her name, but said she saw two males enter the building where Mark Collins lives, then heard gunshots.

The Hamilton County SPCA was called to the home by police, to deal with pit bull dogs.

Mr. Brandon has a significant criminal history. He was convicted in September on an obstruction of official business charge after officers said he ran from them.

He went to prison in 1998 for assault, possession of cocaine, carrying a concealed weapon and tampering with evidence.


Contributing: Staff reporter Jane Prendergast

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