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WA – GUN CRIME – How Youngstown woman was affected after being shot, and why some felons say they carry guns

WKBN.COM (OH) – January 28, 2021 – All Antanasia Crockett thought about that Sunday night in October was getting away from the gunfire.

She was driving back to her home after visiting an aunt on the South Side when she got caught in the crossfire of two groups of cars firing at each other at Market Street and East Florida Avenue.

She’s afraid now, but then she wasn’t. There was no time for fear. She only had one thought: “I just pressed the gas,” she said.

In fact, she didn’t even realize she had been shot — by an AK-47 round, no less, until she stopped at Jordan’s Market at Market and Cleveland to speak to a city police officer. He told her she was shot.

“I fell out of the car and he said, ‘you’re shot,’” Antanasia said.

She was still in shock when she was placed into the ambulance. The one thought that kept running through her mind: “I couldn’t believe someone shot me.”

Her story is typical of most people who either live in a neighborhood where gun violence is common or who happen through no fault of their own to come into contact with gun violence.

Police collected almost 50 shell casings in the street that night Antanasia was wounded. The lead detective on her case said she either drove through a shootout or was hit by accident. Either way, the detective said, she was not a target of the gunfire.

In Youngstown, though, there have been a lot of bullets flying around in 2020, hitting a lot of people, as well as houses, cars and businesses. The city ended 2020 with 98 people shot, including 27 of the city’s 28 homicide victims.

Police say one of the prime movers of the violence is people who are barred from owning a firearm because of a past criminal conviction having one anyway. They credited a crackdown on gun crimes in 2019, including a spotlight on people who are not allowed to have guns, from lowering the homicide rate from 28 to 20.

Former Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees was behind a bill that would increase penalties for people who are caught with guns after they are barred from having them. He testified before the state legislature in favor of it, but the bill stalled in the statehouse this year. Currently, the charge is legally known as having a weapon while under disability, a third-degree felony. The maximum penalty is a three-year prison term.

The disability is a previous felony conviction that prohibits a person from owning a gun.

City police for years have said that too many people convicted of the crime in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court get probation. A study of court records show that of 264 people who had the charge bound over to common pleas court, less than half received a prison sentence locally.  [full source article]

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