YOUNGSTOWN - A man found shot to death on a South Side porch early Wednesday morning is the city's eighth homicide of the year.
A man at 579 E. Boston Ave. said he went outside with a cup of coffee about 7:25 a.m. and found the man lying on his back porch and called police.
Police Chief Rod Foley said investigators have tentatively identified the victim but will not release the name until the Mahoning County Coroner's Office confirms his identity.
Officers who were first called found the man dead from a gunshot wound to the head. The home is across the street from Taft Elementary School. It appeared he had been shot from close range, reports state.
The person who lives in the home told police he heard a gunshot about 2:50 a.m. and his dogs barking but did not call 911 because gunshots are common in the area.
The city 911 Center had no reports of gunshots being called in from the area around that time, according to police.
Reports state the fire department was called to hose off the blood on the man's porch. Officers found a spent .40-caliber shell casing in the driveway and tagged it as evidence.
No one answered a knock on the door later in the morning.
Detectives checked the school's security cameras for any possible clues, and there was a vehicle seen in the area at the time of the unreported gunshot, reports state.
Foley said investigators also are trying to confirm a witness report that before the unreported gunshot, a man was heard knocking on a back door panting and asking to use a phone.
Investigators were checking to see if that was called into the 911 Center, Foley said.
The city had 23 homicides last year and three homicides at this point in 2011. They did not record their eighth homicide in 2011 until mid-summer.
Since June 15 of last year, the city has recorded 26 homicides.