Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Writer found shot dead in home

Wright worked at store, had been substitute teacher

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Stanley Wright said he couldn't comprehend why anyone would harm his older brother, Major, a poet, author of two books, an assistant manager at a convenience store and a former substitute teacher for Cincinnati Public Schools.

"He was a good guy. It's hard to believe someone took his life like that,'' Stanley Wright, 47, of Walnut Hills, said Monday while standing near the yellow crime scene tape that surrounded his brother's home in the 2700 block of Queen City Avenue in Westwood.

Cincinnati police officers and fire personnel responded to the two-story brick residence about 1:45 p.m. for a report of a person shot. They found 55-year-old Major L. Wright dead in his second-floor apartment. The victim had been shot at least once, police said. There was no information available on possible suspects, police said Monday night.

The homicide was the 30th of the year in Cincinnati.

Stanley Wright said a female cousin who lives in a basement apartment went upstairs Monday afternoon and discovered his brother lying in the entrance to his apartment, and called police.

His older brother, who had been writing all his life, had recently published his second book, The Illusion, which deals with slavery and the black experience, Stanley Wright said.

"He'd been writing it for 14 years and just got it published last week," Stanley Wright said. His brother had previously published a poetry book, From the Beginning to the End, he said.

Major Wright, who was divorced and has a grown daughter living in California, had worked as a substitute teacher at Porter Junior High School in the West End for years until a few years ago.

"He stopped substituting so he could work on his book" said his brother.

Wright also worked as assistant manager at the West End Food Mart on Linn Street.

Store employees described Wright as a person who went out of his way to help people, even helping schoolchildren who came in the store with their homework.

Anyone with information about Wright's death is asked to call the Cincinnati Police Criminal Investigations section at 352-3542, or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040. Callers may remain anonymous and may be paid for their information.

E-mail bweathers@enquirer.com

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