YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown police are investigating what they are calling a shocking chain of events that left a child’s father dead and the grandfather behind bars.
Youngstown police said initially, the call was routine and calm – a domestic dispute over custody of a 3-week-old baby boy.
“The parents got into an argument and the mother left the house,” Capt. Brad Blackburn said. “The grandparents went over to the house to try and retrieve the child from the father.”
Police say the two men were arguing around 10:30 p.m. Monday at a house in the 3500 block of Belden Avenue.
Officers thought they had resolved the issues between the infant’s father, 27-year-old Charles Pargo, and his girlfriend’s parents and that Pargo would keep the baby.
“As they were leaving, the officers were leaving, as well as the grandparents. The grandfather ran back into the house and shot the father as he was holding the child,” Blackburn said.
The shooting took the officers, who were actually being sent to handle another call, by surprise.
“It all happened within a matter of seconds. They heard the gunfire, at which point they ordered the parties outside the house,” Blackburn said. “They didn’t know who was shooting at that point.”
The grandfather, 61-year-old Louis Littlejohn, immediately ran out of the house, dropped his gun, and surrendered.
Although the baby had blood on his clothing, police say he wasn’t hurt. His father, however, died at the scene.
Police said the officers handling Monday night’s call never suspected it would take such a violent turn.
“You just never know. It’s the nature of the work, it’s unpredictable,” Blackburn said.
Detectives wouldn’t say why Littlejohn was armed at the time but records show the two men had a run-in last November. In that instance, Littlejohn told officers Pargo had threatened him and that he knew Pargo often carried a gun himself.
Littlejohn sits in the county jail Tuesday night and could face aggravated murder, among other charges, in court on Wednesday.