Youngstown man charged after he told police victim shot herself

James Sunderman was charged with felonious assault

James Sunderman is charged with felonious assault.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Police are investigating after a man told them that a woman shot herself inside a home in Youngstown, but the story didn’t add up with what the victim said.

According to a police report, police were called Sunday evening to a house on Canton Street on reports of a shooting. When they arrived, officers found a female victim in the basement of the home with a shotgun wound to the leg.

A man who greeted officers, identified as 30-year-old James Sunderman, told them he was sitting upstairs in the house when he heard a single gunshot and came downstairs and found the female victim, the report stated.

The victim was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.

As officers were processing the scene, they noted in the report that several pellets were on the ground from a birdshot shotgun shell and a shotgun, which appeared to be jammed from a misfeed. The firearm was a 12 gauge shotgun with a long barrel, the report stated.

Officers determined that the length of the barrel and the location of the shotgun wound on the victim would make it difficult for her to inflict the wound herself.

As the victim was being treated at the hospital she told hospital staff, “It was my boyfriend James who did it.”

The victim told police that Sunderman held a gun to her head and said, “If I call 911, you gotta tell them that I didn’t do this, it was an accident,” the report stated.

The victim told officers she was at the house to retrieve her belonging when an argument ensued and Sunderman accused her of cheating on him. The victim said Sunderman followed her downstairs into the basement and shot her.

Sunderman was arrested at the hospital and charged with felonious assault.