The man arrested on the bus said he believed he was the actual target, so his mother bought him a ticket to Alabama.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The attention a man with a gun on a Greyhound bus attracted in Akron eventually led city detectives to a suspect in the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy Sunday on the East Side.
The shooting happened around 2:15 a.m. outside the home of Lynn M. Bowden, 23, of 1531 Ravine Road. Police followed a trail of blood to the rear yard and found the victim face down behind the garage.
The victim's mother later identified him as Andre Phillips.
He had been shot in the stomach and above his right eye. Two rocks of crack cocaine were found in his pocket, police said.
Phillips' mother went to the police station downtown Sunday afternoon and identified him from photographs shown to her by a coroner's investigator.
The mother said her son had been arrested a few months back and spent time at the juvenile justice center.
Detective Sgts. Daryl Martin and Ron Rodway arrested Bowden on Sunday night on a murder charge. He was held in the county jail overnight pending arraignment today in municipal court.
Bowden's sister told police that Phillips had asked to use her phone because his car had stopped either on Lansdowne Boulevard or Bennington Avenue, but he wasn't sure which street. He made two calls, then left, reports show.
The sister told police she heard four to six shots. An ambulance crew in the area on another call on Bennington also heard the gunfire.
A 9mm handgun believed to be the murder weapon was found Sunday night in weeds near 1538 Bennington. The serial number had been scratched off.
Information from Akron police led detectives to Bowden, reports show.
Rodney D. Miller, 24, the live-in boyfriend of Bowden's sister was arrested Sunday afternoon on a Greyhound bus in Akron on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon.
Witnesses on the bus told police they had seen a handgun in Miller's back pocket and confronted him. In response, Miller went back into the bus station, left his duffel bag there with the gun in it, then boarded the bus again, witnesses said.
Akron police removed Miller from the bus at a stop on Grant Street. Officers said they found a bag with 156 rounds of ammunition under his seat and a .22-caliber handgun in the duffle bag that had been left at the station.
What Miller said
Miller told Akron police that he had returned home early Sunday to find his house had been circled with yellow police tape and he saw blood droppings.
He'd learned from friends that Bowden had been shot at first, but the gun misfired and Bowden returned fire. Miller believes he was the target, not Bowden.
Miller, believing that the victim's family and friends considered him the shooter, was taken to the bus station in Youngstown by his mother, who paid for a ticket to Alabama, reports show.
He said the gun, which he bought for $100 off the street, fell out of his pocket and hit the floor inside the bus station, reports show.
Akron police contacted Youngstown police after Miller explained why he was going to Alabama and why he had the gun.
Sunday's homicide is the city's 28th this year. Last year at this time, 22 homicides had been recorded.