Dispute over girl may be factor in Ohio shooting

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — While police still worked to piece together what led to a deadly Ohio fraternity house party, witnesses said Monday that an argument over a girl prompted two men to open fire on the crowd, sending party-goers into a panic, injuring 11 people and leaving a college student struggling for his life.

Police said a dispute ensued Sunday night at the Omega Psi Phi fraternity house; one man was thrown out of the party and the other followed. They returned sometime later and began spraying bullets into the crowd, police said. Youngstown State University senior Jamail Johnson, 25, was killed. Police arrested two men that evening.

Investigators did not know Monday what the initial argument was about and were searching for a motive, but people at the party told a friend of Johnson’s who was sleeping at the house that the gunmen had argued with others over a girl earlier in the evening. Isaiah Lee, 19, said his friend was trying to defuse the situation when the shots rang out.

“He was trying to be a hero,” Lee said. “He was trying to get them out of there so nothing would happen, no fight.”

Youngstown police were trying to determine if disturbances at another fraternity party and a Youngstown club the same night were related to the shootings

Police arrested 19-year-old Braylon L. Rogers and 22-year-old Columbus E. Jones Jr., who was released from prison in April 2009 after serving a sentence for burglary. The two were charged with aggravated murder, shooting into a house and 11 counts of felonious assault, police said. Neither is a university student nor a fraternity member.

Jail officials did not know if the men have attorneys. They were jailed in the Mahoning County Jail and were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said the charges could be adjusted.

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