YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A fire broke out early Wednesday morning at the same house where a man was shot to death Tuesday.
The fire was reported around 2:15 a.m. Neighbors reported hearing a “boom” prior to the fire.
Youngstown Police Capt. Brad Blackburn said Andre Harrison, 34, was found inside 1515 Kensington Ave., a few blocks from Wick Park Tuesday night. Police said Harrison was shot in the neck.
The investigation into the homicide may be compromised because of the fire.
“To our knowledge no one was inside. The fire was too intense for us to even get inside to find out,” Blackburn said. “The arson investigation unit is right now canvassing the neighborhood trying to get some witnesses, trying to get some statement on who saw what. Maybe somebody saw something that can link together what happened earlier tonight.”
Blackburn said while investigators believe the fire and murder are connected, they have not been able to determine a cause or if the fire was intentionally set. An arson investigator was at the house to determine cause.
“The coincidence is just a little too. We don’t believe in coincidences, obviously,” he said.
Officers in about half a dozen police cars arrived on the scene around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a 911 call from a man who knew the victim. He told police Harrison was on his back in the house and that someone saw two men running from the scene.
At one point, about 75 people gathered to watch the investigation unfold. One woman sobbed as they watched crews wheel out the body.
As crime scene tape blocked off the road from neighbors, investigators took pictures to document the evidence and start putting together a timeline.
Police believe the motive in the killing was a robbery attempt. The home had a surveillance system and security door but no signs of forced entry, leading officers to believe that Harrison knew his killer.
At this point, investigators do not have any suspects, but they are questioning some people who have more details about what happened after the shooting.
“We do have some general descriptions that are varying from different people, but as far as somebody by name or address, we’re not actually at this point,” Blackburn said.
Police are asking those with information on the shooting or the fire to come forward.