Fatal shooting in Middletown: Teen suspect’s criminal past includes gun charges

Joseph Davis, 17, of Middletown, was killed after suffering multiple gunshot wounds late Tuesday night, according to police.

MORE: 16-year-old charged with murder for fatal Middletown shooting

The shooting occurred at about 11:45 p.m. at Woodlawn Avenue and Garfield Street.

Here’s what we know now about the shooting and the 16-year-old suspect:

1. Hearing continued for suspect

A Middletown teen was scheduled to be arraigned today in Butler County Juvenile Court for the fatal shooting of Davis, but the hearing was continued.

The 16-year-old boy is charged with murder and participating in a criminal gang for the death of Davis. He was booked into the county juvenile detention center Wednesday afternoon.

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Rob Clevenger, juvenile court administrator, said the boy’s hearing was rescheduled to Friday because his mother was unavailable to attend today.

2. Suspect has a criminal past

The teen suspect charged with the fatal shooting of Davis has been charged by Middletown police three times since 2015, according to juvenile court records.

In May 2015, the boy was charged with assault and placed on probation by juvenile court.

He violated the order of the court in February 2016 and probation was continued.

In August 2016, the teen was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. He received a suspended sentence of six months in the Ohio Department of Youth Services, 30 days in the juvenile detention center was stayed, he was placed on house arrest, ordered to serve 24 hours of community service, placed on intensive probation, a psychological evaluation was ordered, a letter of apology was also ordered, and the gun was destroyed.

3. Case could be moved to adult court

If a juvenile court judge finds probable cause that the teen committed the crime, the case is a mandatory bind over by law to adult court, according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

That is because of the age of the suspect and the level of the crime, he said.

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4. The investigation is continuing

“More arrests are expected for incidents leading up to this killing,” Middletown Police Major Scott Reeve. said.

A witness reported seeing three people running from the scene, according to initial reports.

Police want to bring this “ongoing neighborhood fight” to an end before anyone else gets hurt, Reeve said.

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“We think this is an ongoing dispute with Joseph and his friends and another group of young men,” he said. “There does seem to be some type of organization between the two groups.”

MORE: Two groups feuding over territory, police say

There also was a dispute last week in a local park between the two groups, according to Reeve.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Detective Kristy Hughes at 513-425-7733 or Detective Steve Winters at 513-425-7786.

5. 911 callers reported hearing several gunshots

Middletown dispatchers received five 911 calls late Tuesday night reporting the fatal shooting.

A distraught man screamed and cried in one call, saying, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Man, we was just riding our bikes on Woodlawn,” the male caller said. “We seen like 10 dudes come up the alley.”

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Two callers told dispatchers they heard three to five gunshots.

“Someone just got shot and they are laying in the street,” a man who called 911 told dispatchers. “He is a young boy. He was shot in the neck, in the jaw,” the caller said, noting a person was trying to help the victim by applying pressure to the wound.

6. Neighbors tried to save teen’s life

Amanda Proffitt was the person who ran to help Joseph.

“He was just a little boy … left to die on the side of the curb,” Proffitt told this news outlet.

She said she tried to stop the blood flow from his wound but was unsuccessful.

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“He was hurt pretty bad and the only thing I knew to do was to run up and start CPR to try to save him. He barely was there …,” she said., but I got him back the ambulance came, the ended up taking him to the hospital, but he ended up not surviving.”

Proffitt said she had seen Joseph around the neighborhood before, playing with children. He had joined in a neighborhood water balloon fight just a few hours before his death, she said.

“Energy. He had energy. I had never seen him act out or anything over here. He had always been having having fun with the other kids,” said Proffitt as she knelt beside a memorial that was erected Wednesday morning near the site of the shooting.

7. Mother had warned sons about violence

Davis’ mother told this news outlet that minutes before the shooting she warned her two sons about potential violence in the neighborhood.

Quartura Davis said she told her boys to stay on the porch of their Manchester Avenue home.

MORE: Mother of fatal shooting victim says she wants justice for her son

“I said Jeremiah Joseph, ‘Don’t you go anywhere. Stay at home. Just stay at home. Let this stuff blow over. Stay here. You don’t have to go nowhere,’” Davis said she told her sons.

Staff writers Nick Graham and Rick McCrabb contributed to this report.

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