New Castle News

October 19, 2013

Update: Man critical after three shot on North Hill

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A man shot in the neck on the North Hill early Friday remains in critical condition, New Castle police said.

A husband and wife also were injured by the 3 a.m. gunfire that erupted in the house at 315 E. Hillcrest Ave., where police said the couple are living.

That property is considered to be county owned, according to tax claim bureau records.

Police said Friday that Michael Foster, 45, of 6 E. Euclid Ave. was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown with multiple gunshot wounds to the head and neck.

The couple, Shawntelle and Montral Johnson, ages 38 and 36, respectively, were treated for gunshot wounds at the same hospital and were to be released.

Shawntelle Johnson suffered a grazing wound to the head above her ear and Montral Johnson was shot once in the ankle and twice in the arm, police reported.

Paramedics told officers they found syringes and a spoon with suspected drug residue in Foster’s pocket while they were treating him.

New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem said Friday afternoon that officers are still investigating what actually happened.

Two revolvers were found in the house, according to police. Salem said they are being tested to see if both had been fired.

He said it was not a domestic incident but possibly drug-related.

Police reported that when they arrived, Shawntelle Johnson was sitting inside the front door, screaming that she had been shot. A man, later identified as Montral Johnson, went out the front door with a male juvenile, also screaming he had been shot.

While clearing the house, officers found Foster lying unconscious on the steps with a .357-caliber revolver at his feet. They said a snub-nosed .38-caliber revolver was found under him when he was moved by ambulance personnel.

A second male juvenile was inside the house. The two boys were turned over to family members, police said.

According to police, Shawntelle Johnson told officers she knows Foster, and that he had gone to the front door, she answered it and he immediately started shooting. She said she took the gun from him and shot him, police said.

Montral Johnson told officers he had invited Foster into the house, and Foster used the bathroom, then began shooting at the couple when he came out.

“We’re still investigating who shot whom,” Salem said Friday, adding officers have not yet been able to interview Foster.

Lawrence County tax records show the house where the incident occurred had gone to tax sale in September 2012 for nonpayment of taxes, but did not sell. It then was offered at the county’s free and clear sale in May, but did not sell then either. After a property is offered at tax and free and clear sales without being purchased, the county takes ownership and it goes into a repository with other unsold tax-delinquent properties.

The house previously was owned by Donald B. Wheeler of New Bedford, according to county records.

Police said New Castle’s code enforcement department had gone to the house Friday afternoon. Attempts Friday to reach Anthony Cioffi, city code enforcement director, were unsuccessful.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)