WARREN - The girlfriend of the man who was killed early New Year's Day in the Sunset Lounge said her boyfriend died in her arms.
Ashonta Gore, who has two of 25-year-old Cory Blackwell's eight children and is pregnant with another, said she was outside the bar smoking a cigarette about 2 a.m. New Year's morning when she heard gunfire, and then Blackwell came outside.
''They just shot me,'' Gore said Blackwell told her when she managed to get to the emergency door on the side of the building and he came outside.
Tribune Chronicle file
The Sunset Lounge in downtown Warren was the scene of a fatal shooting early New Year’s Day.
Gore was at the police station Thursday with her mother to speak to detectives about the case.
Police said a fight on the dance floor preceded the gunshots, in which another woman reported later in the day she also was wounded in the foot.
Blackwell was taken to Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
On Thursday, Warren Police Lt. Jeff Cole said that although detectives have been working to sort out the details of the shooting, there have been no arrests in the case and police have no suspects yet. Because police are still sorting through witness accounts, Cole said they are not able to provide a physical description of what the shooter, or shooters, looked like.
Cole said he could not comment on the case because the investigation remains open.
According to a police report, when officers arrived at the club just after 2 a.m., they found a crowd of people fleeing the bar. Police said they were told that shots had been fired into the air inside the bar near the dance floor / DJ area. A second large crowd had formed on the sidewalk and people were yelling that someone had been shot, police reported.
Officers said they found Blackwell lying unresponsive on the sidewalk.
The transcript of the 911 call was not provided by police despite requests by the Tribune Chronicle on Thursday to obtain it.
Meanwhile, Gore said she struggled in the snow to hold Blackwell up but couldn't. There were several people around also and no one else helped her, Gore said.
''I was trying to get him in the car, but his weight was like ... we collapsed real hard. No one was trying to help him.''
Gore said she saw people at the bar who were feuding with Blackwell, but she was not inside when the shooting happened and does not know what caused someone to begin shooting. She said she does not know why Blackwell was feuding with people, other than they don't like him.
As he came out of the emergency doors, Gore said Blackwell was saying, ''They got me. They got me.'' He told Gore he was shot in the stomach and he was bleeding heavily, Gore said.
''There was blood all over me,'' she said.
She said her oldest child by Blackwell is 8 years old, and she has an 8-month-old with him as well. She is five months pregnant with his third child, Gore said.
The city announced Thursday that the Sunset has closed as part of an agreement between the city and property owner Joseph Sankey. There has been a history of trouble at the bar in 2012 and city officials had asked the state Department of Liquor Control to deny a renewal of the bar's liquor permit.
Loryn Baldwin, who lives across from the Sunset Lounge, said she did not see anything at the time of the shooting.
"I heard sirens outside my windows, but we always hear sirens around here," Baldwin said. "I did not look out of the window. I did not know someone was killed until later in the morning."
Baldwin said she moved into the area in October.
She described not becoming overly concerned about crime in the area until after the Nov. 11 shooting on Elm Court between East Market and High Streets in which Marco Dukes, 32, was killed.
"It is scary," she said. " I heard about what happened to the woman who was shot in the head. She was lying on her own bed."
In that case, Pamela Dial was wounded in the head when a bullet fired about 2:20 a.m. Aug. 4 outside Gadd's Olympic Inn, 1129 Parkman Road, next door to her home, tore through a 6-foot wooden fence and through the wall of her home.
She attended a Dec. 11 hearing in Warren City Council caucus chambers on a request by the bar owner for renewal of the liquor license. The city is objecting. The request remains under consideration by the state Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control.
Tribune Chronicle reporter Raymond L. Smith contributed to this report