Canton records 7th homicide of year with Richard Circle shooting

Canton records 7th homicide of year with Richard Circle shooting


Canton recorded its seventh murder of the year last week after police found a man dead from a gunshot wound behind a residence on Richard Circle.

Police Chief Otha Brown said that officers were called around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, reporting an unresponsive male in the backyard of a Richard Circle residence. The man has been identified as Michael Winston, 50, who was declared dead on the scene.

Brown said they believe Winston was trying to get to a neighbor’s house to find help after he had been shot in the groin area. Winston lived a street over on Sherwood Drive. Brown said Winston would have been able to walk through his backyard to the residence where he was found.

“We know that something took place at his house though we do not know what happened,” Brown said. “We are still looking for the person or persons who may have done this. We are hoping to get some information from the public.”

Winston’s death is the seventh murder of the year in Canton one short of last year. Eight murders were recorded inside the city of Canton last year, making it the most violent year for the city in recent memory. 

The most recent murder this year, prior to Winston’s death, Brown said, was Jaihlen Sims, 17, who was killed by a gunshot wound to the head after someone had shot into his Canal Street apartment Oct. 6 between 1:30 and 1:35 a.m.

The year 2020 was capped by a triple homicide of members of a family of immigrants from Guatemala. Officers found Faustino Ramirez, 20, and his pregnant wife, Martina, 19, dead with gunshot wounds to the head around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, Brown said.

In response to ongoing violence in the city, the board of alderman approved an ordinance in September requiring local businesses to have security cameras. Brown said the ordinance will take effect on Dec. 1 and he hopes they can have most of the businesses compliant by the end of this year or the beginning of 2022.

“We want people to feel safe visiting our city and our locals to feel safe,” Brown said.

Brown said he has not heard any forceful pushback to the ordinance. He said he had a recent conversation with a merchant who had concerns about the cost of installing cameras.

Brown said the ordinance requires at least two cameras, one to cover the exterior and one to cover the interior of a business. He said business owners did not need to get elaborate security systems and could likely find cost-effective solutions at a big box store.

“I told her that it was an effective crime preventer,” Brown said. “If businesses have cameras it helps make sure anyone who wants to commit a crime will think twice about it.”

Brown said the cameras will also be an effective way to add eyes and ears on public spaces as his officers “can’t be everywhere at once.”

Brown said he is currently working with city officials to find a camera or monitoring system that they can install on public property to “meet them halfway.”

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