Cleveland mayor, police chief respond to rash of violence, update cases

Cleveland mayor, police chief respond to rash of violence, update cases
Chief of Police Calvin Williams wants to assure the public that police are diligently investigating all cases. (Source: WOIO)
Chief of Police Calvin Williams wants to assure the public that police are diligently investigating all cases. (Source: WOIO)
Mayor Frank Jackson emphasizes how important community input is. (Source: WOIO)
Mayor Frank Jackson emphasizes how important community input is. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - After a rash of violence in Cleveland, city leaders offered updates and answered questions at a press conference Monday.

Over the weekend, five people were killed in separate shootings and several more injured, including a 10-year-old boy who witnessed his father's death.

Deputy Chief Edward Tomba provided updates on all five cases:

Early Sunday morning, Andre Carr was found shot underneath a parked Jeep in the 1400 block of E. 116th Street. Tomba says evidence was collected at the scene and the vehicle is being processed.

According to Tomba, the two victims found dead inside a home on East 140th Street on Saturday night may have been dealing with a family issue.

Regarding Saturday's shooting that killed Dante Padgett Sr. and injured his 10-year-old son, Dante Padgett Junior, Tomba says multiple pieces of evidence from the scene are being processed. Detectives are currently trying to obtain video. The victims were shot at while driving on Martin Luther King Drive in broad daylight.

In the drive-by shooting death of 5-year-old Ramon Burnett, Tomba says two weapons and a vehicle have been recovered. He says two people have been arrested and two have been indicted, but more arrests are anticipated. Ramon was playing outside when he got caught in crossfire on Sept. 4.

In the drive-by shooting death of 3-year-old Major Howard, Tomba says community members suggested persons of interest to interview while police were canvassing the neighborhood. After detectives narrowed in on someone, they went to the prosecutor's office for charges and named Donnell Lindsey as the suspect. Major was with his Godmother and a family friend when he was shot while sitting in a car on East 113th Street on Sept. 15.

Tomba said he could not answer why there have been so many violent shootings lately. He blamed an accessibility to guns and said people who commit these crimes need to be held accountable. He said police are trying to determine if there are any gang affiliations.

Tomba stated there did not seem to be a connection with these cases because some victims may have been involved in narcotics while another case involved family issues. One factor they do share, however, is someone had access to a weapon.

Mayor Frank Jackson said he believes the department has made great use of the resources they have available, but more could still help.

"It's never enough. It's never enough. I can say to you that I would love more resources if I had not lost tens of thousands of state funding," said Jackson. "Just having resources is nice to have, but it's not going to solve the problem."

Jackson also called for more accountability and responsible gun ownership. He told the media they would like to have more preventable measures in place to stop crimes from being committed.

"The people who engage in the street life and commit crimes, they do not have the right to take innocence. And that is what we have said, and that is what the community has said," Jackson explained. "You do not have a right to take innocence."

Chief of Police Calvin Williams said during Monday's press conference that the community has truly assisted investigators, especially with the children's cases. He made it clear that investigators are working to solve these cases and dedicating all their resources.

Officials emphasized how much the public has helped so far, but more tips are needed. Anyone with information regarding any of these incidents is asked to contact the homicide unit at 216-623-5464. Anonymous information may be provided through Crime Stoppers by calling 216-252-7463.

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