Two men sought in fatal shooting

STEUBENVILLE – Two men, whom City Police call persons of interest, were arrested by the Jefferson County Drug Task Force Monday afternoon in connection with the fatal shooting of Andrew Estes, 22, of Newark, N.J.

Taking the two men into custody on pending charges was only part of the murder investigation throughout the day.

Estes died Sunday in a Pittsburgh hospital after he was shot while standing on a porch Saturday evening , City Police reported.

Estes, who was armed with a gun, and another man were standing on the porch at a house at 722 Rosswell Ave. when shots were fired around 11:42 p.m. Saturday, police reported. The other man ran inside the house, and, when he came back out, he discovered Estes had been shot, police reported.

Police believe Estes was shot at least once in the head or neck area.

Spent shell casings were discovered down the street from the home, police reported.

The county’s special response team, accompanied by city officers, sheriff’s deputies, members of the drug task force and the U.S. Marshals Service executed a search warrant around 1 p.m. Monday at 1308 Oregon Ave. in an effort to find the two men who are persons of interest, police reported.

The men weren’t found then but were arrested by the drug task force several hours later in the same neighborhood.

A female at the Oregon Avenue house suffered a head injury when members of the special response team forced open a door she was standing behind.

Also, police got a call Monday afternoon from a driver who reported seeing a gun being thrown from another vehicle on U.S. Route 22, near John Scott Highway. The gun reportedly was then run over by a truck.

City officers, sheriff’s deputies and Sheriff Fred Abdalla searched the area and police reported finding pieces of the gun, including the magazine.

Estes was one of four Steubenville men indicted by a New Jersey grand jury in September for allegedly selling or possessing firearms.

The cases include Operation Ohio, in which 11 men from Ohio and New Jersey were charged with selling 18 guns on the streets of Newark and Irvington as part of a conspiracy to illegally traffic guns, including assault rifles, into New Jersey from Ohio, according to acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Huffman.

The 11 men allegedly sold 18 guns in Newark and Irvington between October 2012 and January 2013, including two assault rifles, eight handguns, three shotguns and five rifles, according to the attorney general’s office.

Named as defendants at the time were Estes, Leonard King, 39, Johnny E. Gilbert, 50, and Kenneth E. Shepard, 28, all of Steubenville.

The county’s drug task force assisted in that investigation.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)