YSU Student Fatally Shot at Ohio Frat House

Thomas J. Sheeran, Washington Post, February 7, 2011

A day after an admired college student was shot dead at an Ohio fraternity house and 11 people were injured, the governor, college officials and friends were hoping to find some explanation for the violence.

Jamail E. Johnson, 25, a senior at Youngstown State University was fatally wounded Sunday as he tried to separate two groups at a Omega Psi Phi fraternity house party. Authorities say there had been a dispute, two men had left the gathering and then returned and sprayed bullets into the crowd. Among the 11 injured was a critically wounded 17-year-old.

The two men were arrested on charges of aggravated murder, shooting into a house and 11 counts of felonious assault, said Youngstown police Chief Jimmy Hughes. Their names were not released, pending further investigation. The chief said only that they are in their early 20s and from the Youngstown area.


The shooting occurred off-campus at a two-story brick house in a neighborhood of once-elegant homes, many of which are now boarded up. The house party had been bustling with 50 or more people early Sunday, the police chief said. Capt. Rod Foley said Johnson apparently was trying to separate two groups when he was shot.


Members of the university-sanctioned fraternity lived at the house, though Cooper said the fraternity does not own it. He said that after the shooting, Johnson’s fraternity brothers were “very solemn, very alarmed, very hurt.”


Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ) is a fraternity and is the first African-American national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C.. The founders were three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. {snip}

On November 23, 1911 in Thirkield Hall, Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Cooper and Coleman were selected to be the Grandkeeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grandkeeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected to be the charter members.


Since 1945, the fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action Program to meet the needs of African Americans in the areas of health, housing, civil rights, and education. Omega Psi Phi has been a patron of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) since 1955, providing an annual gift of $50,000 to the program. Omega Psi Phi is a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) member.


Each Chapter administers Internationally Mandated Programs every year:


Social Action Programs–All chapters are required to participate in programs that uplift their society. Many participate in activities like: voter registration, illiteracy programs, mentoring programs, fundraisers, and charitable organizations such as American Diabetes Association, United Way, and the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation.


Health Initiatives–Chapters are required to coordinate programs that will encourage good health practices. Programs that members involve themselves in include HIV/AIDS awareness, blood drives, prostate cancer awareness, and sickle cell anemia awareness programs.

Voter Registration, Education and Motivation–Coordination activities that promote voter registration and mobilization.

NAACP–A Life Membership at Large in the NAACP is required by all chapters and districts.



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