YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — On the last night of his life, Keimone Black was hitting the clubs with a lifelong friend, even spinning a couple of tunes at one of them as a DJ.

Hours later he was wedged between a gas pump and the SUV he was driving, gasping for breath because of several gunshot wounds he sustained at a South Avenue gas station as his cellphone flashed the word, “Dad.” Black died from those wounds.

Tuesday, the man accused of firing those shots, Samuel Byrd, 69, went on trial in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court before Visiting Judge Thomas Pokorny on charges of aggravated murder, murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors say Byrd shot 29-year-old Black at about 3 a.m. June 15 at a gas station at South and Samuel avenues as Black was sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV that was parked at a gas pump.

James Davis, the friend Black was out with that evening, was sleeping in the passenger’s seat when the shots were fired. He was not injured.

Opening statements and testimony began Tuesday after jurors were selected Monday. Jurors also viewed the crime scene Monday before being released for the day.

Davis was the second witness called by prosecutors, describing the events leading up to the shooting. Davis testified under direct examination that he and Black went to a couple of clubs earlier that evening and Black, who fancied himself a DJ, was even allowed to spin a couple of tracks at one of the clubs.

Afterward, Davis, who was tired from work, reclined the seat in the SUV they were in and went to sleep. Black drove to the gas station to get some food. Davis said he was jarred awake by gunfire.

“It just seemed like a loud bang waking me up, then I could feel the bullets striking the vehicle,” he testified.

Davis reflexively covered his eyes, he testified, “so I didn’t get any glass in my eyes.”

Black, Davis testified, said “‘Oh, [expletive],” before rolling out the driver’s door.

The midnight shift cashier at the gas station testified she was on the phone with her husband telling him good night when shots were fired.

“I told my husband somebody’s shooting, I gotta go,” she testified. “I hung up and immediately called 911.”

She was crouched down so she wouldn’t get hit by any bullets.

“I didn’t know if somebody was coming back, if someone was going to retaliate,” she testified.

When the shooting stopped, she saw Black lying on the ground, wedged between a gas pump and the SUV.

“He was struggling to breathe,” she testified. “He was lying on his side and gasping for breath. You could hear the air rushing out [of his wounds] and blood spurted every time he tried to breathe.”

A man in a nearby house heard the shots and came over, gave the cashier his shirt and she was putting pressure on Black’s wounds before police arrived and moved him. He was later taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The cashier also said near Black’s body was a phone that kept flashing the word, “Dad.”

“He was on the phone with his father,” she testified.

The cashier also testified she did not see the person who did the shooting.

In his opening statement, Assistant Prosecutor Rob Andrews told jurors Byrd emerged as a suspect in the case because the lead investigator, Lt. Robert Gentile, who was then a detective sergeant, recognized Byrd from security video from a nearby house that showed someone getting out of a car just before the shots were fired.

Police also found a cigarette butt where that car was parked and Byrd could be seen on video smoking a cigarette, Andrews said. When the cigarette was tested, the DNA on it belonged to Byrd, Andrew said.

Additionally, Gentile was also able to identify Byrd based on his shoes. Andrews said Gentile found out that Byrd worked at the Boardman Walmart and when Gentile went there, they saw Byrd wearing the same shoes on video of him at the store.

When Byrd was questioned by detectives, he had the same shoes that were in the video and at his job, Andrews said. Andrews also said cell phone logs place Byrd at the crime scene at the same time that the shooting took place.

Police also served two search warrants and found the car that was used, Andrews said. Video from the gas station also shows the shooting, and Andrews said it is Byrd on the video who is doing the shooting. Byrd was found at a Boardman hotel trying to get into a taxi when police showed up, Andrews said.

“The evidence just kept coming,” Andrews said.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Corey Grimm said no eyewitnesses identified Byrd as the shooter and that the video of the shooting also doesn’t show Byrd’s face.

Grimm also said the DNA evidence on the cigarette butt is “limited,” and the cell phone evidence is “unreliable” and does not fit the timetable of events prosecutors said took place. Byrd’s DNA was never found in the car that police say was used in the shooting, Grimm said.

Grimm said the investigation was rushed once detectives thought Byrd was the shooter and that the case is a result “of trying to pound square pegs into round holes.”

Byrd served several years in prison for a 1981 murder he was convicted of in Washington, D.C.

Police have not released a motive for Black’s slaying, nor have they commented on why a man from out of town in his late 60s is a suspect.

During his opening statement, Andrews did not mention a motive either, only saying that prosecutors do not have to show motive, but only prove to jurors that Byrd is guilty of shooting and killing Black.