June 22, 2010

Ohio State recruit still in critical condition

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - An Ohio State football recruit was shot and wounded twice in two months, and authorities believe the cases are unrelated.

Jamel Turner, 18, was left in critical condition by a shooting early Saturday in Youngstown. A 17-year-old girl was killed in the shooting.

Police Capt. Rod Foley said Monday the case apparently was unrelated to a drive-by shooting on April 16, when Turner was wounded.

Foley declined to discuss a possible motive for the latest shooting, but said Turner and Tracy Banks, who was killed, apparently were intended victims of a shooter who fired from outside a house.

Police were trying to determine Turner's relationship with Banks.

Foley said detectives had identified a possible suspect, but no charges had been filed.

Turner was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was listed in critical condition Saturday night with multiple wounds. Officials at the health center didn't immediately return calls seeking a condition update for Turner.

In the April shooting, Turner was riding in a vehicle with two others on Interstate 680 in Youngstown when a dark car with tinted windows pulled alongside their vehicle and began shooting. Turner sustained a gunshot wound to the lower left ankle and another to the right hip.

Turner was a defensive standout for Ursuline High School in his hometown of Youngstown, but was declared academically ineligible last August. He enrolled in Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, but left earlier this year.

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel issued a statement over the weekend saying that he was praying for Turner.

Shelly Poe, a spokeswoman for the football program, said there would be no further comment Monday.

Asked if Turner was still a recruit in good standing, Poe said, "He signed in February. That's really where that is. Until he would report to campus we can't really, I mean we don't grade them by one way or another."

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