December 20, 2014

Elyria
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UPDATED: Police identify victim of fatal shooting

Antonio Spraggins

Antonio Spraggins

ELYRIA — Fatal shooting victim Antonio Spraggins was mourned by relatives Sunday as police searched for his killer.

Spraggins, 22, of Elyria, was found in a silver Chevy Equinox stuck in a snowdrift near the intersection of Foster and Lake avenues about 2:15 a.m. Sunday, police spokesman Capt. Chris Costantino said. The Equinox was running, with the tires spinning in the snow. There were bullet holes in the driver’s-side door, and the driver’s-side window was shattered.

Spraggins was killed near the T&A Bar, 801 Foster Ave. Bar owner Angela Carter said Spraggins had been a regular patron.

“He was very respectful and he never caused problems,” Carter said.

Carter said she last saw Spraggins at the bar playing pool about 11 p.m. Saturday. She said she did not notice when Spraggins left the bar.

Carter said there were no arguments or fights at the bar before the shooting. Carter said neither she nor any customers heard the shots that triggered a call to police that night. She found out about the fatal shooting when police asked her to close early.

Spraggins was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans. An autopsy is scheduled for today. Costantino said the motive for the shooting is under investigation.

Relatives of Spraggins gathered at his home in the 600 block of Wood Street on Sunday evening.

Spraggins had a record that included a 2012 conviction for drug trafficking, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, but Yvette Spraggins said her nephew should be remembered for the positive aspects of his life.

Spraggins, who went by the first name Tony, was the father of a 5-year-old daughter and a 3-year old son. Yvette Spraggins said her nephew grew up in Elyria and was funny, kindhearted and helpful.

“He always had you laughing,” she said.

She last saw her nephew Wednesday and said he was in good spirits. She said she knew of no reason why anyone would want to hurt him.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call police at (440) 323-3302.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.