Suspect in recent Akron Boulevard shooting found dead in Cleveland

The man sought for killing a woman and injuring a man in Kent was found dead in Cleveland on Monday, according to a Kent official.

Kent Safety Director William Lillich said Monday night that information he was given by police confirmed that Jose E. Quinones, 52, the suspect in Sunday night’s fatal shooting, died in a hotel on Cleveland’s west side.

“Once he was discovered, there wasn’t much doubt,” Lillich said. “They knew who they were looking for.”

Cleveland police spokesman Sgt. Sammy Morris said officers responded Monday afternoon to a report of a dead person inside the LaQuinta Inn on West 150th Street near the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office was notified, responded and has the body in custody, Morris said. He said he could not release the dead person’s name until next of kin were notified.

Kent police obtained a warrant for the arrest of Quinones, 52, whom they said shot and killed Belinda L. Mellott and shot and wounded Gregory R. Cochran inside 757 Akron Blvd. just after 10 p.m. Sunday.

Lillich said two or three children were present inside the home during the shooting.

Those children reportedly were handed over to the custody of relatives Sunday night following the shooting.

Akron Boulevard is located between Middlebury Road and Munroe Falls Kent Road. The street is lined with two-family homes dating to the 1960s.

Quinones allegedly fled the scene before police arrived. Officers found both victims inside the residence. Mellott, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Kent police.

Cochran, 34, was transported to Akron City Hospital for treatment of his injuries, Kent police said. His condition is unknown.

Police blocked off Akron Boulevard just after the incident occurred until Monday morning.

Neighbor Ryan Scarlett said he looked out his window at 10 p.m. Sunday and saw police lights.

“There was a lot of cars, there was an ambulance, a firetruck and what looked like unmarked detective cars,” he said. The ambulance left after about an hour with its lights off, he said.

“I mean, it seems like a pretty quiet neighborhood. Some domestic disputes sometimes, but it seems pretty safe to me,” Scarlett said.

“Our kids play down there and it’s disturbing,” one neighborhood resident said Monday. “When you can look on the news and see your own apartment from the sky, you know, people got murdered down the street, it’s sad.”

“I mean, we weren’t best friends with the people but we knew them, and we’ve never had no problem with them, our kids play with them. It’s disturbing,” he said.

Lillich said Kent police dealt with Quinones once before after an officer stopped him for drunken driving. That incident took place on Feb. 20, according to court records, and ended with Quinones pleading no contest to the charges in May in Portage County Municipal Court in Kent.

“Something set this guy off obviously,” Lillich said. “There were some domestic issues there, I’m told.”

A native of Puerto Rico, according to Cuyahoga County court records, Quinones’ last known address was on West 86th Street in Cleveland. However, Portage County court records indicate he also previously lived at 757 Akron Blvd. Records also list a Linda M. Quinones, 32, living at that address as recently as March 2009.

Neighbors living near the shooting scene speculated that Quinones is related to members of the household and that drug activity had been going on inside the residence.

Linda Quinones, whose relationship to Jose Quinones is unknown, currently has a complaint for child support pending against Cochran in Portage County Domestic Relations Court, according to court records. The complaint was filed in November 2010, and court records list the couple as having at least three children together. The next court hearing in that case is scheduled for Aug. 25, according to court records.

Sunday’s incident is the second alleged murder on the west side of Kent in six weeks.

Convicted sex offender Leonard J. Armstrong, 49, of Kent, recently was charged with the murder of Jeffrey A. Sipes, 57, also of Kent, after allegedly stabbing Sipes to death on June 6 in an apartment on Lawrence Court in the Silver Meadows area.

Armstrong remains held in the Portage County jail on $1.5 million bond pending a Sept. 13 trial in Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman’s courtroom, according to court records.

Kyle McDonald and Dave O’Brien are staff reporters for the Record Courier.