WARREN - City police said they weren't surprised to learn that Marco Dukes was one of the men involved in a multiple shooting late Sunday morning downtown that resulted in his death.
Likewise, some local officials said they expected to hear that the shooting had a "Detroit connection."
Dukes, 32, of 866 Swallow St., who died Sunday after being transported by helicopter to Metro Health Center in Cleveland, had numerous encounters with local law enforcement over the past several years - ranging from traffic violations to weapons and drug charges to felonious assault, according to court records.
"We know the name well," said Warren Police Sgt. Joseph O'Grady. "I don't think it was that much of a shock to anyone when we realized he was involved."
Reginald F. Baldwin, 21, and Dale A. Hatch 25, both of Detroit, apprehended by police shortly after the shootings, were booked into the Trumbull County Jail on felonious assault charges. They are each scheduled to be arraigned today.
Larry Smith, 29, 2305 Jackson St., S.W., Warren, was also shot. He remained at Trumbull Memorial Hospital on Monday. An update on his condition was not available.
Reginald F. Baldwin, left, and Dale A. Hatch were arrested after the shootings and charged with assault.
Marco Dukes was fatally shot Sunday. Larry Smith was wounded in the shooting.
On Monday, Warren police Sgt. Jeff Cole, department spokesman, said police were trying to put the pieces together and determine a motive for the shootings. However, according to court records here and in Detroit, at least three of the individuals involved, including Dukes, have criminal histories.
Most recently, Dukes pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana last month after being arrested by police. Dukes was released from prison earlier this year. He had been sentenced to one year in prison for possessing a weapon, a felony charge, and carrying a concealed weapon last year.
He was sentenced to six years in prison following a shooting in 2004. According to court records he shot two people, Marlayne Wesley, 18, and Michael Wilson, 23, on Woodbine Avenue S.E., then was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center to be treated for his own gunshot injuries.
According to online records from the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan, Hatch was previously charged with delivering or manufacturing drugs in 2009 but prosecutors in Detroit eventually dropped the charges. He was convicted in 2005 on two counts of receiving a stolen vehicle.
According to records, Smith also has been arrested numerous times in the past 10 years on charges ranging from resisting arrest, criminal damaging, criminal trespassing, assault, falsification and obstructing justice.
Although police would not comment on whether the shootings appear to be drug-related, city officials have expressed concerns over what they call an increasing number of drug dealers from Detroit moving into Warren.
Councilman Greg Bartholomew, who represents the downtown area where the shootings happened, said that although he has no proof, he believes that it's likely Sunday's shootings were drug-related. He said he was not aware of Dukes' criminal history, or any of the other individuals involved, until after the shooting.
"I do know we have an ongoing problem here and it just doesn't seem reasonable that two guys from Detroit are just going to show up in Warren one day to shoot a couple of local guys for no reason," said Bartholomew, D-4th Ward. "What we do know is that something has to be done to keep this sort of thing from happening. We need to drive the drug activity out of Warren."
Warren police reported that on Sunday more that 40 shots were fired on Elm Court between Market and High streets. Police recovered numerous shell casings in a parking lot behind a daycare in that area and the windows of a building, occupied by several people including children at the time, were shot at.
Despite earlier reports that the shooting resulted from a fight late Saturday or early Sunday at the nearby Sunset Lounge, Cole said there is no evidence to support that.
Dukes' death marks the fifth homicide in Warren this year.
Warren Council president Bob Dean said council needs to do what it can to help the police department keep residents safe. He said a key part of the process involves re-evaluating finances and finding the money to hire more police. Within the past few years the department had as many as 84 officers, plus the chief. However, the department now has 52 officers covering the same area.
Bartholomew, who also operates a business in the fourth ward, said he intends to meet with other business owners and operators, along with city officials, to discuss what can be done to fight crime.
"The city needs to show no tolerance for anything related to this type of activity," he said. "We need to create stricter building codes, whatever it takes, to get drug dealers out of our town. I've said it before. I don't care where they go as long as it's not here."