Cleveland, Ohio

From the The Plain Dealer of April 23, 2007

Robber, 15, fatally shot by would-be victim

A 25-year-old Cleveland man shot and killed Arthur C. Buford, 15, after the boy tried to rob him, police said. Buford was shot in the chest at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, according to Cleveland police spokesman Thomas Stacho.

Buford and an accomplice reportedly robbed a man at gunpoint on the porch of his house near East 134th Street and Kinsman Road. Stacho said the robbery victim had just walked home from a nearby store. Stacho said the robbery victim, whose name was withheld, told police he pulled his own gun and shot the teenager, who staggered away and collapsed in the street. The accomplice banged on neighbors’ doors for help before fleeing, Stacho said.

From the Wilmington News-Journal of April 25, 2007

Man carrying concealed gun fatally shoots robbery suspect

A man pulled a gun from a shoulder holster and shot a teenage robbery suspect in one of the first fatal shootings in the state involving a concealed carry permit holder, police said.

Damon Wells, 25, was walking from a neighborhood store back to his east side home Saturday night when two youths confronted him. ‘One pulled a gun and told him, ‘Don’t move or I’ll pop you,’ said police Lt. Thomas Stacho. ‘He said he thought he was going to die.’

Wells put his hands up and walked to his front porch, then pulled his gun and shot 15-year-old Arthur Buford several times in the chest, Stacho said. Buford stumbled away and collapsed on a sidewalk where he died. The other suspect fled.

Police released Wells on Monday without filing charges, but city prosecutors will continue to investigate the case, Stacho said. Police were holding Wells’ .40-caliber Smith and Wesson as evidence.

Wells has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment.

Stacho did not know of any other fatal shootings in Cleveland involving a person with a permit to carry a concealed gun.


From Newsnet5 of April 27, 2007

NAACP Leader Calls Homicide Among Young Black Men Epidemic

The Cleveland NAACP responded Friday to criticism surrounding the shooting death of a teenage boy during a robbery.

NAACP President George Forbes and Cleveland Councilman Zach Reed said the black community failed 15-year-old Arthur Buford, NewsChannel5 reported.

They said Buford was wrong for allegedly trying to rob Damon Wells at gunpoint on Saturday.

Wells opened fire and killed Buford at East 134th Street and Kinsman. Police said Wells had a valid weapons permit and used the gun in self-defense.

“Then you have a 26-year-old young man who had every right to protect his life, protect his fiance and protect his property. But he has to life with the fact that for the rest of his lie he shot a 15-year-old boy,” said Reed.

“That man had a right to do what he did. If he didn’t do it, we’d be sitting here today mourning him rather than the 15-year-old,” said Forbes.

They pointed out that homicide is the leading cause of death for black men 15 to 24.

Forbes said that if we saw those kind of numbers for an illness, the community would be outraged.

He said the community should also treat this as an epidemic.


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