CLEVELAND, Ohio- A woman and two children were found dead inside a home on E. 63rd near Fleet early Tuesday, shortly after a man was found dead by police in a field located next door.
In a noon press conference Tuesday, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said officers responded to the area around 8 a.m. for a report of a man down in a field; when police arrived, the man was dead. I-Team sources say it was from a gunshot wound.
That man was identified by the medical examiner Tuesday evening as David Cousin Jr., 35.
While officers were at the scene they smelled smoke coming from a house nearby and forced entry. The bodies of a woman and two children were discovered in the home. Chief Williams called the incident "a terrible tragedy."
"It’s always difficult when innocence is lost, particularly the two children, but as the chief said we are early in this; our intent is to find out who did it," said Mayor Frank Jackson.
Chief Williams said they are chasing leads and possible people of interest but need the help of the community.
"We have several persons of interest that we are looking for; our investigators have identified a few folks," said Chief Williams. "We’re just in the process of tracking those folks down to find out if they are, in fact, involved in this."
Throughout the day several relatives of people who live on E. 63rd arrived on scene fearful their loved ones are among the victims. Police have not identified a person of interest.
"His house is right there," said an anxious Elijah Maddox. "My cousin lives on this street right there where they’re at. Everybody called him; he didn't pick up."
Slavic Village has recently been the center of revitalization. Ward 12 Councilman Anthony Brancatelli calls the area home to one of the most active block clubs. He says the city has made strides to demolish the worst properties and renovate homes.
"Truly unfortunate, truly horrific, but we have a strong neighborhood, strong block club and we’ll get past this," said the councilman.