MANSFIELD — A dispute between two gangs in Mansfield led to a shooting at an 810 Ferndale Ave. party that left two people dead and four others wounded on Oct. 27.
That was the testimony Thursday afternoon from Mansfield police Sgt. Jered Kingsborough, a detective in the major crimes division.
The testimony came during a preliminary hearing for Cyrus Ellerbe, the only suspect thus far charged in the 11:40 p.m. incident that allegedly occurred when there were still about 15 people still inside the small house that had been rented for the Halloween party.
After the 30-minute hearing in Mansfield Municipal Court, Magistrate John McCollister found probable cause to believe Ellerbe had committed murder and bound the case over to Common Pleas Court for consideration by a grand jury.
The magistrate continued the $5 million bond set for the 22-year-old Ellerbe during his initial appearance on Nov. 9. He is charged with murder and and discharging a firearm on or near a prohibited premises.
Defense attorney Joshua Brown asked Kingsborough about testimony he had provided earlier during questioning by Richland County Assistant Prosecutor Nik Buckmeier.
“I think you told us that your investigation led you to believe that this may be gang-related. What gangs would be involved?” Brown asked.
Kingsborough responded, “Fours and Fives.”
Brown replied, “The Fours and Fives. Those the only two?”
The detective answered, “I’m sure there’s more or spinoffs. I have heard other names, but mostly Fours and Fives.”
Ellerbe’s photo was picked from a police-arrange photo array by a male juvenile who attended the party, according to Kingsborough.
“He picked Mr. Ellerbe out of the lineup as a subject he observed shooting a handgun inside the residence at 810 Ferndale on the night of the shooting,” the detective said.
The murder charges stem from a shooting incident that killed Brandon Collins, 18, and Jarmel Boyd, 17, according to the Richland County Coroner’s Office. Both died from gunshot wounds, according to autopsies down by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, Kingsborough said.
Multiple guns were fired at the residence that evening, according to Kingsborough, who said shell casings from a 9mm handgun and also a .22-caliber firearm were found at the scene, both inside and outside the house.
In addition to the guns allegedly using by Ellerbe and other yet uncharged suspects, police found four 9mm handguns inside the house during a search warrant after the incident, he said.
Kingsborough said police questioned 25 or 30 people about the incident and admitted some were not cooperative.
“It’s fair to say those that were struck by gunfire were not even cooperative,” he testified.
The detective said that Ellerbe admitted he was in the Ferndale Avenue residence when the shootings occurred. He also testified he believed the home was rented as an Airbnb from another juvenile’s parent prior to the party occurring.
He said the juvenile’s mom rented the house for a “girls thing” on Thursday the mother attended and that flyers for the Friday night party were circulated afterward, likely on social media.
Brown asked if it was a costume party.
Kingsborough replied, “It says ‘Bring a costume’ on the flyer,” though he admitted he didn’t know if those at the party were wearing costumes.
“There were costumes in the house when we did the search warrant, none of which we collected. But I did see Halloween paraphernalia,” he said, including a strobe light in the living rooom.
The detective said eight surveillance tapes from nearby residences were collected during the investigation and that four vehicles were either searched or impounded.
Brown asked, “Do you have any other suspects besides my client?”
The detective responded, “Yes.”
Police have said their investigation into the shooting incident continues.