College student shot to death at Ohio frat house

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - Jamail E. Johnson, 25, a senior at Youngstown State University, was killed Sunday as he tried to separate two groups at an Omega Psi Phi fraternity house party...

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A day after an admired college student was shot dead at an Ohio fraternity house and 11 people were injured, the governor, college officials and friends were seeking explanation for the violence.

Jamail E. Johnson, 25, a senior at Youngstown State University, was killed Sunday as he tried to separate two groups at an Omega Psi Phi fraternity house party. Authorities say there had been a dispute, two men had left the gathering and then returned and sprayed bullets into the crowd. Among the 11 injured was a critically wounded 17-year-old.

Two suspects were arrested on charges of aggravated murder, shooting into a house and 11 counts of felonious assault, said Youngstown police Chief Jimmy Hughes. Braylon L. Rogers, 19, and Columbus E. Jones Jr., 22, were being held Monday at the Mahoning County Jail, said jail officials, who did not know whether the men were represented by attorneys.

A spokesman for the university did not immediately return a message Monday asking whether the men are or had been students at Youngstown State.

“This is one of those days that every university president across the country, as well as many other officials, always dread,” university president Cynthia Anderson said at a news conference. Anderson said police assured her there was no threat to the campus.

Johnson and the others were shot off-campus at a two-story brick house in a neighborhood of once-elegant homes, many of which are now boarded up. The house party had been bustling with 50 or more people early Sunday, the police chief said.

Johnson apparently was trying to separate two groups when he was shot, Capt. Rod Foley said. He was shot once in the head and multiple times in his hips and legs, said Dr. Joseph Ohr, a forensic pathologist with the coroner’s office. An autopsy is planned Monday.

Johnson had recently traveled to North Carolina for a fraternity program emphasizing manhood and scholarship, said Christopher Cooper, a legal officer for Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

Johnson “was just an excellent, excellent young man, and our loss runs deep,” Cooper said.

The wounded ranged in age from 17 to 31; six were students. About half were shot in the foot, police said. Two were hit in the abdomen. The 17-year-old was wounded near one ear.

By Sunday afternoon, eight had been treated at a nearby hospital and released, spokeswoman Tina Creighton said. She said she could not release the conditions of the remaining three.

Roughly 15,000 students attend the urban campus in northeast Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line.

Members of the university-sanctioned fraternity lived at the house, though Cooper said the fraternity does not own it. He said that after the shooting, Johnson’s fraternity brothers were “very solemn, very alarmed, very hurt.”

A neighbor, Rodger Brown, 54, said the house and an adjacent home with Greek lettering, indicating a fraternity, often have parties on weekends but had caused no problems in the neighborhood.

“It’s a nice, quiet neighborhood,” Brown said.

Gov. John Kasich said he was “shocked and saddened” by the shootings. He offered the school the use of “any and all state resources they might require.”

Kasich planned to meet Monday in Youngstown with Anderson and Mayor Jay Williams to discuss the shootings.

The university said counselors and clergy also would be available to students and others on campus.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.