Arrest warrant issued for second suspect in killing

YOUNGSTOWN — A second man is charged in the Dec. 22, 2022, killing of Devon Bell, 26, at the Shell gas station on South and Samuel avenues on the South Side.

Zachary Bair, 33, was charged with murder in Youngstown Municipal Court on Friday. If convicted, Bair could get 15 years to life in prison. Bair, who had a Youngstown address in a 2016 criminal case, is not in custody.

Police said two men wearing all black and ski masks ran from the scene of the 2:24 a.m. shooting and fled down Samuel Avenue. When police arrived, they found Bell in the driver’s seat of a Chevrolet Cruze backed into a parking spot near the entrance to the building.

Windows on the car were shattered, and bullet shell casings were found on the ground nearby, as well as one on the windshield.

Police sent their K-9 into the area where the suspects fled, and it led to the discovery of a handgun with an “extended magazine” and a knife.

Ambulance personnel declared Bell dead at the scene.

A co-defendant, Akeem M. Hargrove, 31, of Parkcliffe Avenue, is charged with aggravated murder with a gun specification and murder in the killing and is set for trial Sept. 9.

Hargrove sought suppression of evidence in the case last year, but Judge Anthony D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court denied the motion Feb. 27. Hargrove sought to suppress statements he made to two Youngstown police detectives Dec. 27, 2022, according to court documents.

But D’Apolito ruled that Hargrove “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived the Miranda warning that was provided prior to his statements to the detectives and that he understood his right to remain silent but waived that right.”

Hargrove pleaded guilty to one count of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle in a separate case Oct. 30, 2022, according to the ruling. Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Hargrove to two years of probation in that case. It included 10 days in the Mahoning County jail to begin Dec. 26, 2022.

Bell was shot to death Dec. 22, 2022 at the Shell Gas Station on South Avenue, the ruling stated. Because of the investigation that ensued, Hargrove was a suspect in Bell’s death, the ruling noted.

On Dec. 26, 2022, Hargrove reported to the Mahoning County jail to serve his 10-day jail sentence. The next day, Youngstown detectives interviewed Hargrove at the jail, the ruling states.

Have an interesting story? Contact Ed Runyan by email at erunyan@vindy.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


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