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Published: Monday, 7/3/2006

2 shooting incidents send 4 men to hospitals


Four men were hospitalized in South and Central Toledo from two separate shooting incidents early yesterday, including bullets fired in a parking lot possibly by customers who were just kicked out of a popular neighborhood sports bar, the bar owner said.

The first shooting occurred shortly after 2 a.m. in the parking lot of Bogarts Sports Bar, 1402 South Ave., at Spencer Street. The owner, Bob Mettler, said some "hotheads" who were asked to leave his bar fired into the crowd as they were driving away.

Because of the shooting, Mr. Mettler closed the bar yesterday and was planning to close it today, he said. "It's kind of scary."

Police arrived outside Bogarts and found Tyreece Benton, 23, with a bullet wound to the chest and Ben Neal, 31, with a bullet wound to his leg. The third victim, Robert Boone, 44, took a private vehicle to the University Medical Center and was reported to have a bullet wound in his leg.

Police said the incident was sparked outside the bar as a group of men left the parking lot in a Chevrolet Suburban. Patrons started throwing items at the vehicle, and police said that's when at least one suspect from the Suburban fired into the crowd. The suspects were driving away east on South Avenue as the shooting happened, police said. Mr. Mettler said the customers had been asked to leave and were escorted out by security. None of those shot worked for the bar, he said.

A University Medical Center spokesman said Mr. Neal was in critical condition yesterday and that Mr. Boone was discharged.

Police said that Mr. Benton also was in critical condition, but the hospital spokesman said he had no information on anyone by that name.

In the second shooting, police said three friends in a black Chevrolet Tahoe were driving Mario Kea, 32, when he was shot by a man in another vehicle at about 3:15 a.m. They drove the victim to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. Police said Mr. Kea was in critical yesterday morning, but a hospital spokesman said she had no information on a person by that name.

Sgt. Tim Noble said officers believe the vehicles the two men were in were involved in some sort of mishap and eventually pulled next to each other on North Detroit Avenue near Council Street. After words were exchanged, the suspect fired one shot into the vehicle in which Mr. Kea was a passenger and hit him in the head, police said.

Witnesses told police that the suspect's vehicle, which also had three women inside, was a white Dodge Magnum with a black top. The car headed south on I-75 after the shooting, police said.

Police had no suspects in either shooting as of last night.

Contact Clyde Hughes at: chughes@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.

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