AP NEWS

Elyria police investigate suspected arson at apartment building where man was fatally shot Monday

October 4, 2018

Elyria police investigate suspected arson at apartment building where man was fatally shot Monday

ELYRIA, Ohio – Detectives are investigating a fire Thursday morning at an apartment building in Elyria that was the site of a fatal shooting Monday evening, according to Elyria police.

Firefighters responded about 6:15 a.m. Thursday to the Southwyck Apartments on the 1400 block of West River Road North, the fire department said.

When they arrived, firefighters saw a plastic bottle filled with a flammable liquid – probably gasoline – that was thrown into a hallway on the lower level of the building, a fire department spokesman said.

The Molotov cocktail flashed and created a lot of smoke, a part of the carpet was charred, but no one was hurt, Capt. Chris Costantino said.

“This could have been a disaster,” Costantino said. “That fire would have spread, and innocent people would have gotten hurt.”

Police responded to the scene about 6:20 a.m. to investigate the potential arson, Costantino said.

The same apartment building was the site of a fatal shooting Monday evening, police say. Officers arrived about 6:05 p.m. and discovered Zachary Mason, 20, lying on the ground in the parking lot area with several gunshot wounds to his torso, Costantino said.

Elyria police arrested two men Wednesday in connection to the shooting. Keeon Green, Jr. and Lance Cheers are both being held without bond in the Lorain County Jail on first-degree felony charges of aggravated robbery.

Green lives in the building where the Molotov cocktail was thrown and Mason was shot, court records show. Mason lived in the apartment building directly across the street, Costantino said.

“There’s a lot of tension in that area,” Costantino said.

Elyria police detectives determined that Mason was shot in the second floor landing, which is a shared common area. He was able to leave the building after he was shot before collapsing on the ground outside, Costantino said.

The Molotov cocktail was thrown in a hallway on the lower level of the building and did not spread to the second floor where Mason was shot, Costantino said.

The investigation into the shooting is also ongoing and police expect to make additional arrests, Costantino said. Green and Cheers may also face upgraded charges when the investigation is completed. 

To comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section.  

AP RADIO
Update hourly