Nearly eight weeks ago, shots rang out on a sunny afternoon in Hamilton’s Lindenwald neighborhood and ended the life of 19-year-old Londale Harvey.
The teen had lost both his mother and father but was under the watchful eye of his aunt, Sjuwana Springfield. Weeks later, Springfield said she still feels like she is in the “twilight zone.”
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“It is very devastating and heartbreaking,” Springfield said.
She was out of town when she got the call that her nephew had been shot in the head, less than a year after his mother died.
“It put me back into that dark place,” she said. “I watched him take his first breath and I also had to make the decision for him to take his last breath meaning I had to make the decision to remove him off (life support).”
Harvey was shot during the incident at about 1:04 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the area of Pleasant and Fairview avenues. Officers found Harvey shot when they arrived on the scene.
After shots were fired that hit Harvey in a car parked near the intersection, a shot was fired into the building at 2501 Pleasant, according to police. A man was in the building but was not injured by the bullet, according to the report.
According to scanner traffic, police were told to look for a black BMW with four men inside in connection with the shooting.
A Volkswagen riddled with bullet holes was parked on Fairview, which was roped off as a crime scene for hours.
Residents on Fairview behind the crime scene that is flanked by a church and barber shop described the shooting as a drive-by with the suspects circling the block before firing shots. The suspects stopped to pick up shell casings after the shooting, witnesses said.
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Eight 911 calls were placed from people who saw or heard gunshots.
“We need an ambulance right now, somebody got killed … my dude’s bleeding out,” a male caller told the Butler County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher. “We was at the barber shop, a car pulled up and shot the whole car up.”
Hamilton police said after the shooting that it was not a random act and detectives were received tips.
“The investigation is still active. This was a targeted attack. Our investigators are working diligently to bring those responsible to justice,” said Hamilton Sgt. Rich Burkhardt.
Frank Downie, chairman of PROTOCOL (People Reaching Out To Others; Celebrate Our Lindenwald), said in the days after the homicide, it was a topic of conversation in the neighborhood, “but it has died now. It wasn’t mentioned in our last meeting.”
Hamilton police have been clear, Downie said, that the shooting had nothing to do with the location, but with the people targeted.
Springfield said she is “angry, but I am more hurt than angry.”
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She described her nephew as “bubbly, joyous and always happy.” After the death of his mother, Londale often stopped by her hair salon on Dixie Highway in Hamilton to see her.
“My sister and I looked alike, I think he just wanted to see my face,” she said.
“He wasn’t a perfect child. He was always looking for a way to fit, always trying to find a place. I just feel like he was with the wrong people at the wrong time and perhaps at the wrong place.”
But, she has some doubt, because Harvey was shot in the head and others with him were not harmed.
“It just kind of sounds like they were trying to kill him,” Springfield said. “They succeeded. They broke our hearts and I just pray now that justice is served.”
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call the Hamilton Police Department’s Investigations Section at 513-868-5811, extension 2002.