June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Police: Shooting was at apartments not park

Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said investigators have concluded that a shooting on April 15 happened inside the Union Square Apartments and not in the nearby parking lot of Ray Mellert Park, as initially reported.

“Our investigation at this point shows that it was not a random act of violence and that it did not occur in the park,” Berarducci said. “We are very confident it happened in subsidized housing at Union Square Apartments.”

He said initial reports from those involved in the shooting pointed to it happening at the park parking lot. Berarducci declined to comment on why the reports were conflicting and offered no motive.

“We’re still investigating,” Berarducci said. “We’re asking questions to a lot of different people about this.”

A Medina County grand jury on Wednesday indicted 22-year-old Gregory Prince — the man accused of shooting 32-year-old Jose Algarin in the head that night. Prince is charged with attempted murder and two counts of felonious assault, as well as gun specifications making his charges carry mandatory prison time.

Prince faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

Berarducci said Algarin has been released from MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he was transported from Medina Hospital via helicopter following the shooting.

Police said Algarin underwent surgery to have the bullet removed from the back of his head.

Following the shooting, police said Prince and his cousin — who lives at Union Square Apartments on West Union Street — drove toward Prince’s home in Cleveland Heights. While en route, they contacted a family member, Eric Simpkins, who told The Gazette he used training as a Cleveland Schools safety officer to convince Prince to turn himself over to police.

Prince was arrested in Brunswick, where he met with Simpkins and relinquished a Rohm .22-caliber revolver, the gun police said he used to shoot Algarin.

Prince originally was charged with kidnapping as well, but that charge was dropped. Simpkins said his cousin was not held against her will when they drove away and was in no danger from Prince.

Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman said the kidnapping charge wasn’t justified.

“Upon review of the reports, evidence didn’t support the charge,” Holman said.

Prince has no previous record in Medina County Common Pleas Court, but has pending charges of carrying concealed weapons and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle in Cuyahoga County.

The shooting was the second in the Medina area in a month. Police said 48-year-old Terry Yuschak shot Martez Hope, 22, of Brunswick, in the chest on March 20 on state Route 18, near the Interstate 71 interchange in Medina Township.

Police have said they believe that shooting was drug-related.

Hope was listed in fair condition Friday, a MetroHealth nursing supervisor said.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.