An Ohio man is accused of fatally shooting a woman with a rifle after crashing into her car on Saturday in Solon.
Witnesses say Desha opened fire on Pearl after they both exited their wrecked vehicles, according to Cleveland.com. He was armed with 5.56-millimeter rifle, police said.
Pearl, of Twinsburg, was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Desha, of North Ridgeville, was arrested near the scene, according to police.
Desha and Pearl did not know each other, police said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Witnesses Say Desha Shot Pearl Several Times While She Held Her Hands in the Air
Matthew Desha ran a red light about 7:20 a.m., hitting Deborah Pearl’s Ford Taurus in an intersection, police said. The crash sent Pearl’s car several feet down the road, while Desha’s Jeep flipped several times, landing on its roof about 50 feet from Pearl’s car, police said.
Witnesses told Cleveland.com that Desha exited his car with the rifle. He then shot Pearl multiple times as she stood with her hands in the air.
A 911 call reporting the shooting was released Sunday, you can listen to it below:
No motive for the shooting has been released.
2. Desha Was Arrested on Felony Gun & Drug Charges in May After a Traffic Stop
Desha was arrested in May on felony gun and drug charges after a traffic stop, according to a local news report.
Police said Desha was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers searched his car and found a loaded 9mm handgun, three additional loaded magazines and straws containing suspected drug residue and other contraband, according to the police report.
Desha was also accused of fleeing the scene of a drunken driving crash in 2007 in North Carolina, WEWS-TV reports.
He has also been citied multiple times for traffic violations.
3. He Served in the Marines, Including 2 Tours of Duty in Iraq
Desha’s family says he served in the U.S. Marine Corps, WJW-TV reports.
He served as a mortarman, and was twice deployed to Iraq, according to military records obtained by the news station.
A website that honors veterans lists a Matthew Desha as having served from 2004 to 2008, with the rank of lance corporal.
During his court appearance on Monday, Desha said he is unemployed.
4. Pearl, a Mother of 3 Grown Children, Was Heading to Work When the Crash & Shooting Happened, Her Family Says
Debbie Pearl, a mother of three grown children, was on her way to work when the crash and shooting happened, Cleveland.com reports.
She worked at South East Harley Davidson in Bedford Heights, Ohio, and also worked at a nearby restaurant.
“Word’s can’t explain what we’re going through,” her, Derryo Pearl, told Cleveland.com. “This is the roughest patch a human being can go through. I’ve gone through tough times before, but it wasn’t like this.”
She is also survived by her longtime boyfriend and her grandchildren, her son told the news site.
He remembered her as a good mother, who helped him and his brothers become good fathers.
“She disciplined us when she needed to discipline us,” Derryo Pearl told Cleveland.com. “She made us go to school every day. She worked hard and taught us that was the only way to succeed in life.”
5. He Is Being Held on $1 Million Bail After Appearing in Court Monday Morning
Desha appeared in court for the first time Monday and was ordered held on $1 million bail. You can watch video of his arraignment above.
He has been charged with first-degree murder. Desha appeared in court via a video screen, while sitting handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit.
An attorney will be appointed to defend him, the judge said. His attorney could not be reached for comment.
His next court appearance is set for August 31.
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