Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Police & Fire

Warrant issued for arrest in homicide


Arrest warrants have been issued for a 20-year-old Toledo man who police believe is responsible for the Friday night shooting death of Montrese Moore.


When a single bullet tore through Montrese Moore’s chest, the 19-year-old was unarmed, investigators said.

Police Monday continued to look for the person they believe shot and killed Moore Friday night at the Gas & Go, 1530 Cherry St. An arrest warrant for Kevin Jamal Venson James, 20, was issued Sunday.

Moore was approaching a group of south side gang members who were listening to music and dancing at the gas station, telling them to leave the north end, when from the back of a Ford Explorer, an armed man opened a car door and fired four shots, said Toledo police Detective Bob Schroeder.

Moore went down. His friends, Robee Ware, 19, and Creonna Ballard, 18, were also shot, although the two are expected to survive, police said.

Police originally thought Mr. James lived at a home in the 400 block of East Weber Street, based on information from witnesses, but when officers went to the house Sunday to execute a search warrant, they said they found another, unrelated family had been living there for at least a month. Police do not know where Mr. James is currently living.

The shooting that left Moore dead was gang related, police have said. Moore was a member of the central city Manor Boys, based out of the Kent Street Moody Manor housing projects, police said. It was unclear on Monday to which south side gang Mr. James is affiliated.

Numerous young men and women at Moody Manor on Monday afternoon said they did not know Moore.

In a field next to the 7th Heaven convenience store, near where Moore was shot, several men were sitting near a memorial — of stuffed animals, empty liquor bottles, flowers, and Cincinnati Reds baseball hats that belonged to the victim — left for the slain man after a candlelight vigil Saturday.

Tyrone Colman, 22, who identified himself as Moore’s cousin, said the two were very close.

On Friday he and Moore spent the entire day together, he said.

“He left me for a half hour ...,” Colman said, his voice trailing off.

Another man, Tyrell Jones, 18, sitting in one of the four chairs that surrounded the memorial, said he and Moore grew up together.

Jones said he saw Moore on Friday; the two also spent time together on Thursday.

When the shooting happened Friday, Jones said he made it to the gas station before police did.

“It was crazy,” he said. “It was like a movie.”

Jones, who lives in North Toledo, said he’s unaware of any feud between gangs from the north end and south end.

Police on Monday, however, said they were worried about retaliation against the suspect or any of his affiliates.

Mr. James has been accused of violent crimes before, according to Toledo Municipal Court records.

In March, 2010, Mr. James was found guilty of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct for punching Jamal Forbes in the face and head and then throwing him into a wall during a fight in January, according to court documents.

He was sentenced to 30 days in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, although all 30 days were suspended. He was placed on probation for six months, but violated probation twice, extending his probation until Nov. 18.

In December, a bench warrant was issued by Judge Francis Gorman.

In July, 2010, Mr. James was again charged with felonious assault for allegedly throwing a coffee cup at his teenage brother, who required 13 stitches. The charges were dropped when his brother failed to appear in court.

In August, 2010, which would have been the second probation violation, he was charged with domestic violence for punching his 14-year-old brother in the face. In May, 2011, the case was removed from the docket and charges were dismissed, according to Toledo Municipal Court records.

In 2011, Mr. James was found guilty of two separate drug-related charges. Both times, the suspect had marijuana.

Anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at419-255-1111.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at:, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @tdungjen_Blade.

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