Police: Shooting tied to robbery

HOWLAND – Detectives here say the suspects they’re after in the Sunday afternoon shooting of a 52-year-old Weir Road N.E. man are the same men wanted for forcing their way into the same mobile home about two weeks ago.

Matthew Kline, 52, has lived in the Forest Grove Mobile Park for a few months, according to police.

Shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday, Kline told police that two men he didn’t know asked for money. When he told them he didn’t have any cash, Kline was shot four times, including in abdomen, hip and leg. Police found Kline in the bedroom of the mobile home in lot 60 of the park.

Two residents of the park chased the two attackers after the shooting and after spotting a suspicious person near Kline’s home. The attackers headed toward Elm Road N.E. before police arrived.

Detectives said Kline is expected to survive after treatment at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown; no condition on Kline was available on Monday.

Police Chief Paul Monroe said Monday that the same two men identified as the attackers Sunday are believed to be responsible for forcing their way into Kline’s home shortly after he moved into the rental property. In that incident he was pistol-whipped and items were stolen from his home.

Monroe said his detectives would most likely be working with detectives in Warren to find the pair.

Kline, who used to live in Warren, was placed on five years of intensive supervised probation on March 7, 2012, after being found guilty of having weapons under disability after pulling a gun on a woman on Russell Avenue in Niles.

He was on the disability for a conviction of possession of heroin in January 2008, for which he also was placed on probation.

According to Tribune Chronicle archives, Kline was also victimized in January 2005. In that case, he told police that his Saiga gun, ammunition, his dog and assorted prescription drugs were stolen from his East Market Street home.

Then a month later, Kline reported two men forced their way into his same East Market Street home and robbed him at knifepoint. Police said at the time that it appeared Kline and his nephew owed the two thieves money.