Youngstown police: Man killed near South Side bar was suspect in not 1, but 2 homicides

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Police said Thursday that they believe just one person fired the shots that killed a man and wounded another early Tuesday in a South Avenue parking lot.

Police also said the victim, Abdul Muhammad, was not only a suspect in the Nov. 19 shooting death of Maurice Bebbs, 35, outside the Coconut Grove on South Avenue but he was also the suspect in the Jan. 1 slaying of Van Lightning, 30, at Glenwood and Almyra avenues.

An aggravated murder warrant was issued for Muhammad shortly after Bebbs’ death. While there was no warrant issued for the death of Lightning, police do consider him a suspect in that case, said Lt. Ramon Cox of the Detective Bureau.

Cox also said at a press conference held by Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and police Chief Carl Davis that investigators believe just one person fired the shots that killed Muhammad about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Muhammad was in the parking lot of a 2800 South Avenue when someone in a passing car fired the shots that killed him.

Cox said detectives do not yet know if the 26-year-old man who was wounded in the same shooting was also targeted or a victim of circumstance.

Davis and Brown both said that retaliation is not the answer, saying that when people take matters into their own hands, the violence never stops.

“This results in a deepening cycle of instability and violence,” Davis said.

Cox said detectives do not know if there was any connection between Bebbs and Lightning that led Muhammad to kill them both or if there were separate reasons for their deaths.

He also said it is not yet known if Muhammad was killed as revenge for one of the two murders but that is certainly a theory detectives are exploring, Cox said.

Police said Bebbs was killed after he and Muhammad argued in the parking lot of the Coconut Grove. It is not known if the two knew each other before they argued in the parking lot.

Lightning died about 12:10 a.m. Jan. 1. Police said he was chased out of a house on Almyra Avenue before he was shot down. The house where he was at later burned to the ground in an arson.

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