Chuck Horvath points out the tree at Kingsmoor and Eastbrook drives where a pickup was stopped with the body of Ysidro Mora.
What sounded to one West Toledo resident like a motorist dealing with a flat tire early Friday was in fact a fatal shooting that led to the lockdown of several schools near Secor and Sylvania avenues.
"I was awakened by a series of rapping noises that sounded like somebody had a flat tire; then I looked out the window and didn't see a car or a truck or anything; then I went back to bed," said Chuck Horvath, a retired school principal at the Swanton school district who has lived on Eastbrook Drive near Kingsmoor Drive for 35 years.
Mr. Horvath learned about the murder a short time later when a Toledo police detective came to his door asking whether he had heard or seen anything, he said.
Ysidro Mora, 21, of 310 South Eber Rd. in Spencer Township was found fatally shot in a pickup truck that was nudged up against a tree about 5:50 a.m. at Kingsmoor and Eastbrook, about four blocks south of Elmhurst Elementary School, police said.
Mr. Mora's sister, Michelle Watson, said her close-knit and large family was devastated.
"He had a lot of hopes and dreams and he was a young entrepreneur trying to get out and do his own thing," Mrs. Watson said. "He was a tattoo artist and did woodworking with my father, who is a welder."
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Mr. Mora was the youngest of six siblings in the family.
"My mother spoiled him because he was the baby of the family," Mrs. Watson said.
Mrs. Watson said her brother was the family member everyone looked to first to make them laugh.
"Have you ever had someone who ever could make you laugh with just looking at you and making you feel good - that was my brother," Mrs. Watson said. "We are a very close-knit family, so we are at each other's houses all the time."
Mr. Mora graduated from Rogers High School, she said.
After the shooting, several area schools, including Deveaux Middle School, Elmhurst Elementary School, Start High School, and Christ the King School were locked down.
"All the outside doors were locked down and we have extra security personnel at the schools until further notice from the police department," said Lonny Rivera, chief of staff for Toledo Public Schools.
Police officers and school security turned away parents and directed students into the school buildings, with several police cruisers maintaining a perimeter around the schools.
The public schools were each dismissed at regular dismissal hour between 2 and 3 p.m., according to Toledo Public Schools spokesman Patty Mazur.
Toledo police responding to a call of an injury accident found the victim, who was shot multiple times. They are investigating the case as a homicide.
Officers went door-to-door asking neighbors in the 3000 block of Eastbrook what they might have heard or seen.
After police left the scene and the truck was removed shortly after 8 a.m., several neighbors gathered by the tree, which was not damaged.
Neighbors were divided in their reaction to the violence near their homes.
"It was a nice, quiet neighborhood up until now. Now it makes you wonder how safe you are," Mr. Horvath said.
Charlie Caris, 80, a retired telephone worker who has lived for 25 years in a house near where the victim was found, disagreed.
"I still feel safe; it is the first time something like this happened here," Mr. Caris said. "The thing is you have to be calm, you have to be very observant with different things that might be happening. But I am sure I'm going to weather it out."
Police said they had no suspects and no motive yesterday.
"We just know that he was found just before 6 o'clock this morning; he was in his vehicle, and we believe the cause of death to be gunshot wounds. … He was sitting in the driver's seat and he was shot," Sgt. Phil Toney said.
"We don't have suspects at this time; we are talking to family members and the possible witnesses in the area," Sergeant Toney said.
Early in the morning, police in the area were looking for a man described as about 19 years old, white or Hispanic, about 5 feet, 4 inches tall, wearing a camouflage reversible jacket with orange lining and baggy pants.
But Sergeant Toney said yesterday afternoon that police "are not even saying those are connected."
The sergeant would not say whether a weapon or spent rounds had been recovered or whether the victim was shot from inside the vehicle or from the outside.
Mr. Mora's death is Toledo's 22nd murder this year. There were 20 in the city during all of last year.
Staff writer Ignazio Messina contributed to this report.
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