Police: Wrong choice of beer sparked deadly Bellevue shooting
An argument over the wrong selection of beer left one man dead and two in jail Wednesday night in Bellevue, according to police.
The shooting happened just before 9 p.m. near South Starr and West avenues, police said.
The incident began when three men – Musa Muya and Salim Salim, both 20, and Emmanuel Boneza, 32 – met near the Bellevue sign along Ohio River Boulevard Wednesday afternoon.
According to criminal complaints filed against Salim and Muya, Muya had with him a gun, later found to be a Ruger semi-automatic handgun.
The three went into a nearby ravine and took turns firing the gun, footage of which was found on Salim’s cell phone when searched by police, according to the complaint.
Salim told police that at one point, Boneza left the ravine to go buy beer for the group, as he was the only one old enough to do so, police wrote. According to Salim, Muya became upset when Boneza returned because he’d “purchased the wrong beer.”
According to the complaint, Salim told detectives that Boneza fired the gun two more times, then handed it to Muya, asking him to reload it. Instead, police wrote, Muya shot Boneza four times.
Boneza ran from the ravine to the street above, where a witness said he saw him begin to stagger and then collapse in the street, according to the complaint.
Salim told police that he and Muya left the ravine, and he grabbed the gun and stashed it under a rock along the way, detectives said. Investigators later found the gun under a rock not far from the ravine.
Boneza was transported to Allegheny General Hospital where he was pronounced dead about 90 minutes after the shooting, authorities said.
Police caught up with the pair soon after the shooting after a witness reported seeing two men speaking with accents discussing which way to walk on Jackman Street, according to the complaint. The witness said one of the men ditched a backpack along the way.
Officers found the backpack and spotted men matching the witness’s description – later determined to be Muya and Salim – standing on Jackman Street near Oak Avenue, police said. They “appeared to be sweating heavily.”
Muya, of Pittsburgh’s Northview Heights neighborhood, is charged with homicide and carrying a firearm without a license. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3. Salim, of Avalon, is charged with tampering with evidence and carrying a firearm without a license. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 27.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.