by Kyle Swenson
If you keep up with the news you might have noticed an uptick in gunfire over the weekend — or, to be specific, an unusual amount of headline-grabbing violence breaking out in a relatively small geographic area (the near East Side) over a short time span (Saturday-Sunday).
Of course, we’ll concede the unfortunate given that terrible things happen all the time in the city without finding a way into newsprint. But every so often — usually in the summer — a single weekend sees an inordinate amount of gratuitous violence, a pile-up of police blotter items that by the number of victims involved or the brazen style of violence perpetuated jumps things a few notches in terms of notoriety. Shit gets real, in other words. And the weekend we just closed the door on was one of those weekends.
The first incident happened as the Saturday night festivities were unwinding. At around 1:30 a.m., Sunday morning, police were called to the China House on East 53rd and St. Clair. According to 19ActionNews, 21-year-old Keith Crump, a security guard at the restaurant, got into it with six males all decked out in white t-shirts — reportedly members of the 105 Boys and Hough Boys street gangs. Whatever the issue was, Crump pepper-sprayed the males, who in turn promised to come back. Within two minutes they did so, opening fire on the restaurant. Crump also returned fire. Three people were hit.
Two males and one female were struck during the shootout. Matthew A. Banks, 30, was transported via EMS to MetroHealth Medical Center where he was listed in serious condition Sunday. Alvis Cook, 34, was transported by private vehicle to MetroHealth Medical Center. A third victim, Takeshia Fuller, 27, was driven by private auto to the Cleveland Clinic where she was treated and released.
Police arrested Crump for felonious-assault, but the other shooters are still at large.
A second incident happened later that night, when two men were shot in their car at East 110thand Woodland Avenue. Two cousins were stopped in their cars when they were approached by another pair, according to the Plain Dealer. Shots were fired. 45-year-old Timothy Arrington was hit five times. 55-year-old Eric Gross was hit in the hand. Both survived.
Barely 12 hours had the chance to quietly slip past by the time a second incident happened in the middle of the following afternoon. Around 4:50 p.m., according to Newsnet5, the passengers in a silver mini-van heading down Spafford Road in Cleveland near Harvard opened fired, hitting three people. Again, two men and one woman were taken to the hospital.
Nothing right now indicates a connection between the three shootings. Nothing connecting them besides both being terrible instances of public violence. Of course, the silver lining you can make out in all this dark weather is that no one was killed in either incident — pretty amazing considering the amount of gunplay we just saw over the last 48 hours.