Weekend shootings in South and central Toledo left two men dead and a third man wounded just days before Toledo police announce a program to reduce gun-related violence. The city has recorded eight homicides this year; it had 38 last year.
Torian Tall, 25, whose most recent address was in the 700 block of Pine- wood Avenue, was found shot behind a gas station at 3365 Monroe St. at Auburn Avenue about 2:40 a.m. Sunday. Police had been called to quell a disturbance at that location, police said.
Mr. Tall was taken to Toledo Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, police said.
Detectives interviewed witnesses and said they were following leads.
In South Toledo, a man who immigrated here from Cuba died after being shot at close range by an unknown assailant Saturday night.
Raul Izquierdo, 36, of 324 Langdon St. was shot in the head at 11:54 p.m. Saturday in front of 310 Langdon in the Old South End neighborhood, according to Toledo police and witnesses. Witnesses said the killer seemed intent on confronting Mr. Izquierdo. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His brother Santiago Izquierdo, Jr., 27, of 326 Langdon, was shot in the neck by the same person. He was recovering Sunday at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, police said.
Police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said no arrests had been made in either incident Sunday.
Autopsies on the two dead men are scheduled Monday.
The weekend violence occurs as Police Chief Derrick Diggs prepares to announce Tuesday a program for reducing gun-related violence as part of an overall strategy to protect the community despite historically low staffing levels.
Sergeant Heffernan said he didn’t know if either incident involved gang activity.
Witnesses to the Izquierdo shooting said the assailant opened fire just after the two brothers, along with Santiago Izquierdo’s wife, Nieves, and a cousin had returned to their block of Langdon from the Spigot Bar, nearby on the other side of Western Avenue, where they had been for about 30 minutes to celebrate a birthday.
“He came walking down Langdon Street. He stood right in front of Raul,” said Nieves Izquierdo, describing the assailant as either black or a dark-complexioned Hispanic. Santiago Izquierdo said the man focused on Raul.
“[Raul] tried to protect [Nieves’] cousin. He moved her out of the way. The guy took out his gun and shot him. Then he shot me in the back,” Mr. Izquierdo said from his hospital bed at Mercy St. Vincent’s.
Family members said Raul, who was not tall and was about the same size as the shooter, was shot in the head point-blank, and Santiago, who is more than 6 feet tall, was shot twice in the neck, suffering a broken third vertebra.
Raul and Santiago had recently moved into apartments in the same duplex on Langdon because it is across the street from their parents, Santiago and Aurora Izquierdo.
Neighbors described Raul as friendly and generous to everyone. He immigrated here from Cuba in 1993 and was nicknamed “Cuba.”
“The neighbors all love Raul. Kind, joking all the time. He never disrespected anyone,” said his stepmother, Aurora Izquierdo.
Neighbor Dawn Hall, a missionary who owns several rental houses on the street, wept Sunday afternoon as she talked about the violence on her street. Ms. Hall said she has tried to organize neighbors to look out for each other and had found a helpful soul in Mr. Izquierdo. She said he had occasional work as a carpenter.
“He was definitely trying to clean up the neighborhood. That guy was my friend. He was helping me,” she said, sobbing.
A friend of Raul’s, Victoria Bernal, 36, who lives on the same block, said she had talked to him on the phone about 20 minutes before he was shot.
“Just a good guy. Senseless. I don’t understand why this happens,” she said, adding she had “absolutely no idea” why he was shot or who the shooter was.
“He ran away. I think it was just a random thing. A lot of people carry guns around here.,” Ms. Bernal said.
Raul Izquierdo had recently been released by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction after serving a sentence for felonious assault.
Family members said Raul was single, with a 19-year-old daughter in Cuba and a 13-year-old son in San Diego.
Contact Tom Troy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.