A Toledo police officer records information at the scene of a slaying in North Toledo on Wednesday night. Detectives have sworn out an arrest warrant for a man they believe is a suspect in the fatal shooting in the 600 block of Spring Street.
Mariah Shontea Wells was shot and killed by a man who was known in the neighborhood and whom she apparently knew, authorities claim.
An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for Dimitrias A. Graves, 27, of 159 Everett St., who is listed in an affidavit as a murder suspect in Ms. Wells’ death Wednesday night. He allegedly caused the victim's death “as a result of committing felonious assault offenses against three additional victims,” according to the affidavit, which was filed Thursday at Toledo Municipal Court.
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Ms. Wells, 22, an African-American from the Columbus area, died of a single bullet that pierced both lungs, according to Dr. Maneesha Pandey, a Lucas County deputy coroner who performed the autopsy. Ms. Wells was pronounced dead at 8:04 p.m., minutes after she was found in the street in North Toledo. The death was ruled a homicide, Dr. Pandey said.
Larry Manns, 71, a neighbor, said he had seen the suspect in the neighborhood several times since spring, occasionally seeing him on the street or at convenience stores.
The suspect has a prior history of misdemeanor charges, according to Toledo Municipal Court records.
“I can't say anything bad about him,” Mr. Manns said. “I didn't even know he was in trouble with the law.”
Police said the shooting could be related to violence in the area of Stickney and St. John avenues, about three street blocks away. The suspect knew the victim but it did not appear that the deceased woman lived where the shooting occurred, according to police.
Toledo police spokesman Sgt. Joe Heffernan said police Thursday were still trying to figure out the motive, the relationship between the victims and the suspect, and the circumstances of the shooting.
Ms. Wells was found near the sidewalk at 658 Spring St., shortly after police were called on a report of gunfire at 7:48 p.m. Wednesday.
The Spring Street address is where Graves' mother lives, police said. People who answered the door at that address Thursday refused to comment.
A second woman was shot in the eye in the same incident. She was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, police said. Authorities did not release her name and condition, or the names of two other victims, who were not believed to be injured.
It was unclear whether any of the victims knew each other or why they were in the same location.
Mr. Manns, a retired Lott Industries Inc. supervisor, said he was home at the time of the shooting but did not hear the shots or any disturbance.
He said he learned of the shooting only after a family member called him asking whether he was aware of the incident.
Ohio birth records show that Ms. Wells was born Feb. 8, 1991, in Newark, Ohio, to Cornelius Allen and Scotti Wells. Her parents could not be reached for comment.
The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees him is asked to immediately call police or Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111 without approaching him.
This is the city's 27th homicide and 28th in the Toledo metro area this year.