The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

August 10, 2013

Recent homicides highlight problem

JOHNSTOWN — Three city homicides in less than two weeks illustrate the complexity of Johnstown’s crime problem, police Chief Craig Foust said.

• Lemmel Myers, a state parolee living in the West End, is accused of shooting Leslie Schetrompf, 37, on July 25 in a  Fairfield Avenue apartment building.

• Jonathan R. Kuzma, 31, is charged with beating his father, John P. Kuzma, to death with a hammer inside their Moxham home on Aug. 3.

• Demetrius D. Gibson, 21, of Tire Hill is being sought in Tuesday morning’s fatal stabbing of his former girlfriend, Elizabeth Miller, also 21 and of Tire Hill.

Schetrompf’s murder appears to be a typical drug-related crime, Foust said.

Myers apparently shot Schetrompf after he and his girlfriend came to collect a $20 debt. Police found heroin, money, ammunition and a firearm inside the building.

John Kuzma’s death is more complicated, Foust noted. Police have said the younger Kuzma robbed his father’s safe for drug money after the murder, but Foust said there is more background to the crime.

“I believe the cause of that was domestic,” he said.

And even though it happened around 4:30 a.m. off of a city street in Moxham, Foust said Miller’s death also appears to have stemmed from domestic abuse.

“There is no way to explain it,” Foust said. “It’s just tragic for that young girl and her family.”

Foust hopes the publicity from Miller’s murder will spotlight the dangers of domestic violence and encourage other victims to take action.

“Somebody, somewhere, in that situation may think, ‘That could be me; I have to get out of this relationship,’ ” Foust said.

“That saves her life.”

Cambria County Victim Services and the Women’s Help Center in Johnstown stand ready to help victims find protection and resources to free themselves from abusive partners, he added.

Randy Griffith covers the Johnstown Housing Authority for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths July 31, 2014

    July 30, 2014

  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 30, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Officer, civilian motorist injured in crash

    A Johnstown police officer who was responding to an emergency and one other driver were taken to the hospital after they were injured in a three-vehicle accident around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Railroad Street at the intersection with Clinton Street and Church Avenue.
    The Johnstown Fire Department said that the three occupants of the third vehicle were not injured.

    July 29, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads