Shooting at Frat House Leaves One Student Dead, 11 Injured

February 7, 2011 - 6:43 AM

frat house shooting

A Youngstown State Police University officer patrols the street where an early-morning shooting on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 at a fraternity house near the Youngstown State University campus in Ohio left one student dead and 11 injured. (AP Photo/Mark Stahl)

Youngstown, Ohio (AP) - A day after an admired college student was shot dead at an Ohio fraternity house and 11 people were injured, the governor, college officials and friends were hoping to find some explanation for the violence.

Jamail E. Johnson, 25, a senior at Youngstown State University, was fatally wounded Sunday as he tried to separate two groups at a Omega Psi Phi fraternity house party. Authorities say there had been a dispute, and two men who had left the gathering later  returned, spraying bullets into the crowd.

Among the 11 injured was a critically wounded 17-year-old.

The two men were arrested on charges of aggravated murder, shooting into a house and 11 counts of felonious assault, said Youngstown police Chief Jimmy Hughes. Their names were not released, pending further investigation. The chief said only that they are in their early 20s and from the Youngstown area.

"This is one of those days that every university president across the country, as well as many other officials, always dread," University President Cynthia Anderson said at a news conference.

Gov. John Kasich said he was "shocked and saddened" by the shootings. He offered the school the use of "any and all state resources they might require."

Kasich said in a news release that he planned to meet Monday in Youngstown with Anderson and Mayor Jay Williams to discuss the shootings.

The university said counselors and clergy also would be available to students and others on campus.

The shooting occurred off-campus at a two-story brick house in a neighborhood of once-elegant homes, many of which are now boarded up. The house party had been bustling with 50 or more people early Sunday, the police chief said. Capt. Rod Foley said Johnson apparently was trying to separate two groups when he was shot.

The student was shot once in the head and multiple times in his hips and legs, said Dr. Joseph Ohr, a forensic pathologist with the coroner's office. An autopsy is planned Monday.

Johnson had recently traveled to North Carolina for a fraternity program emphasizing manhood and scholarship, said Christopher Cooper, a legal officer for Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

"(Johnson) was just an excellent, excellent young man, and our loss runs deep," Cooper said.

The injured ranged in age from 17 to 31; six of them were students.

About half of the injured were shot in the foot, police said. Two were hit in the abdomen. The 17-year-old was wounded near one ear.  They were taken to nearby St. Elizabeth Health Center. And by Sunday afternoon, eight had been treated and released, hospital spokeswoman Tina Creighton said. She said she could not release the conditions of the remaining three.

Anderson said police assured her there was no threat to the campus.

Roughly 15,000 students attend the urban campus in northeast Ohio near the Pennsylvania border.

Members of the university-sanctioned fraternity lived at the house, though Cooper said the fraternity does not own it. He said that after the shooting, Johnson's fraternity brothers were "very solemn, very alarmed, very hurt."

A neighbor, Rodger Brown, 54, said the house and an adjacent home with Greek lettering, indicating a fraternity, often have parties on weekends but had caused no problems in the neighborhood.

"It's a nice, quiet neighborhood," Brown said.

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Associated Press writers Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio, and Sofia Mannos in Washington contributed to this report.