About 10 months after he was shot, the Steven Davis homicide case is cold.
“There are no new developments in the case,” police spokesman Lt. Mike McCloskey said. “We’re still hoping for some new information or leads or someone to come forward to kind of reignite the investigation.”
Davis, shot in the chest and head, was found last Nov. 24 in his rear efficiency apartment at 40 Locust St., part of a two-family home off South Main Street. He was found by his cousin, who called police.
The 24-year-old had problems in the two months before he was shot, according to police reports. On Aug. 13, 2015, a home he was visiting at 89 Groveland St., was shot into in a drive-by shooting.
Police chased the car to Elyria where the two men in it ditched it and ran. No one was arrested.
“Davis stated he has not had any problems with anyone and does not know who would be responsible,” said the report written by officer Jessica Beyer, who is investigating the homicide. “Davis would not, or was unable to, provide any other relevant information.”
On Aug. 29, Davis reported his apartment was burglarized with the door kicked in. He said $700, video games and a watch were stolen.
At the same time Davis was reporting the burglary, residents of a home at 255 South Pleasant St. — about two blocks from Davis’s apartment — reported the house was shot into. Police recovered a slug in the front door.
Resident Quan Jackson told police he believed Davis was the shooter, according to Sgt. Victor Ortiz’s report. Jackson said they had past “problems and differences” and they had seen each other at the Mickey Mart at 155 South Main St. earlier in the night, although nothing happened then.
Ortiz said Davis denied responsibility for the shooting.
Jackson, imprisoned at the Lorain County Jail on a failure to appear warrant for unpaid child support, said in an interview Friday that there was bad blood between him and Davis because Davis falsely believed Jackson had stolen property from him. Jackson wouldn’t say what Davis accused him of stealing.
Jackson said while he and Davis didn’t get along, he didn’t kill him.
“I don’t care about nobody that much that they’re going to make me lose my freedom,” said Jackson, 26. “I’ve had a lot of problems with people in my life and I never killed nobody before. He ain’t the first person I had a problem with in my life.”
Jackson said police raided his grandmother’s home where he lives a few months after Davis was slain. He said police searched the home and seized his phone, which he said they haven’t given back.
Police interrogated Jackson for about 45 minutes at the police station, he said, including asking him where he was on Nov. 23, 2015, the night before Davis was found dead. Jackson said he can’t remember exactly where he was.
Jackson said he may have been playing video games at a friend’s home in Oberlin or possibly he was with his girlfriend at her North Olmsted home. “Or I was at a party. Who knows?” he said.
Jackson said he doesn’t know who killed Davis but doubts it was someone from Oberlin.
“The streets talk and I’ve heard some stories,” he said. “We’re pretty sure somebody from out of town had something to do with that. But why? Who knows?”
Davis on Facebook had hinted at problems in his life growing up in Cleveland, but didn’t provide specifics.
“I’ve seen stuff a person my age shouldn’t have seen,” he said. “I’ve done things that a person my (age) shouldn’t have done, but the experiences in your life makes you who you are so I’m a better person for them.”
Neighbors described Davis as friendly and polite. They said Davis, who didn’t have a car, was often seen walking in the neighborhood. They suspected he was dealing drugs due to the frequent amount of traffic coming out of the apartment at all hours and because visitors didn’t stay long.
McCloskey said no drugs were found in Davis’ s apartment, but police suspect they may have been a motive for the killing. However, police chief Juan Torres, speaking on behalf of Beyer, said he couldn’t confirm that.
Joanne Douglas said she moved out of one of the front apartments at 40 Locust St. in July of last year. Douglas said she was concerned it might be burglarized by one of the people visiting Davis.
“I knew something was wrong back there,” said Douglas, who moved down the street. “I had to get out of that house before something happened.”
Craig Robinson, who lives near the apartment, said he was also suspicious about the frequent visitors to Davis’ home. Robinson, a resident since 1996, said it was out of character for the street, which he said is usually quiet and crime-free.
“I’m a nosy person. I watch out for the neighborhood,” he said. “In this day and age, you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Robinson said he was suspicious about two men he saw walking east away from Davis’s apartment the day before he was found dead. One of the men stopped and ran back to the apartment, which Robinson said struck him as odd.
According to McCloskey, a pizza deliveryman was the last person to see Davis alive. He delivered a pizza to Davis a day or two before Davis was found dead.
Torres said there are no leads or suspects but because the investigation is active, he wouldn’t release the investigative report. He said Beyer will be updating him later this month on the case and he may seek help from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.
Oberlin police have little experience investigating homicides in the usually quiet, low-crime town. The last homicide was in 1999.
Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.