Drug arrest targets ‘person of interest’ in homicide | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN — Police arrested a man on three drug charges Wednesday afternoon after questioning him in connection with Tuesday’s homicide on Mohawk Avenue.

Police on Thursday called Chantell L. Daniel, 21, of Country Club Avenue, a “person of interest” in the 5:30 p.m. killing of Rawsheem Aponte, 24, and the wounding of a woman and child in 3 years in the car with Aponté. The other two victims survived.

Daniel will be arraigned today in Youngstown City Court for Possession of Fentanyl-Related Compounds, Drug Possession and Misdemeanor Drug Possession. He is not charged in the shootings.

Several Youngstown police officers were following up on the Mohawk shooting Wednesday afternoon while driving through the Brownlee Woods neighborhood on the South Side when they saw a burnt orange 2012 Dodge Charger that matched the description of a vehicle involved in the the homicide, according to a police report. The survey time was 1:39 p.m.

The vehicle also had the same dealer front plate and a white bird droppings stain on the front passenger panel that was seen on surveillance video of the incident.

Officers informed lead detectives of the case, and detectives and officers continued the investigation by traveling to the Country Club Avenue home where the owner of the Charger lives.

The police knocked on the door and Daniel finally answered. He started talking with detectives and asked if he could put on some pants and a sweatshirt by the door. An officer retrieved the clothes for him. Detectives determined that Daniel would be taken to the police station for further questioning about the shooting.


Daniel asked if he could take a bag of marijuana out of his pants pocket and leave it at home. Inside the bag was a white powdery substance, police said. Officers handcuffed Daniel and placed him in the back of a police cruiser.

Also inside the plastic bag were a small plastic bag containing fentanyl, another bag of Alprazolam pills and a small plastic bag of oxycodone pills, police said. Also found on Daniel and seized $1,228 in cash.

Once Daniel finished at the Youngstown Police Department, he was taken to the Mahoning County Jail on all three drug charges. The police also had the loader towed from the house.

Senior police officials held a press conference at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the case and other matters. During the conference, Lt. Mohammad Awad told reporters that investigators “have individuals and vehicles in mind that we believe were involved” in the shooting of the Mohawks. “It was targeted,” Awad said. “From the information we got, they were looking to provoke violence last night.”

On the night of the shooting, police said the department’s Neighborhood Response Unit was called just before 5:30 p.m. to the 3800 block of Mohawk Avenue on the south side, where they found a chaotic scene involving a Gray Chevrolet Camaro with three victims inside.

Police began lifesaving measures on the 23-year-old woman, who was shot in the leg. Her 3-year-old daughter was grazed in the leg by a bullet.

Aponte was killed, likely shot, police said. Police estimated that at least 50 shots were fired.


Meanwhile, Youngstown police are investigating gunshots in the 200 block of East Lucius Avenue on the South Side on Wednesday afternoon that may be linked to another shooting in the town, possibly the shooting of two men at the Shell gas station, 3200 Market St., early Tuesday.

Police were called to East Lucius at 3:44 p.m. to reports of gunshots. Police observed bullet casings in the street outside an occupied house. No injuries were reported.

Police said five to 10 shots went through the front door and the first floor wall and through a second floor window and wall. He damaged a television, windows and walls.

Witnesses said they saw a tan Chevrolet Suburban with rusted bodywork and two broken plastic-covered rear windows speeding away. Two men were inside, one wearing an orange camouflage hoodie, police said.

The police department’s crime lab was contacted because the vehicle matched the description of another shooting, the report said. The police report did not specify which shooting, but Tuesday’s 12:53 a.m. shooting of two men at the Shell gas station involved an early 2000s gold or silver Chevrolet Suburban, police say. Police released surveillance video showing the vehicle moments before one or more people fired shots from it, hitting two men who were putting gasoline in their vehicles.

Two men were in stable condition afterward and are expected to recover, police said. The shots were likely targeted and not random, police said.

Police also investigated shootings at 12:36 a.m. Thursday in the 600 block of Parkwood Avenue on the south side that did not injure anyone. A resident reported that two bullets had passed through an exterior wall. A child in the house said he heard a bullet “go past (a) room”.

Additionally, police said a man was shot at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the 400 block of West Indianola Avenue, also on the south side. He was in stable condition, police said.

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