October 20, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain slaying was caught on tape, police say

LORAIN — The fatal shooting of Moises Velez was caught on surveillance video, but it’s unclear if it will be a smoking gun for prosecutors.

Guerra

Guerra

Alvarado

Alvarado

Velez

Velez

“It was dark,” a store manger at Roman’s Grocery at 2957 Pearl Ave. said Sunday. The manager, who refused to give his name, said police asked him to stop showing it. Roman’s is across the street from Southerner’s Bar, which Velez was in front of when he was shot once in the head around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday.

City residents Richard Alvarado and Angel Guerra, both 22, have been arrested and charged with murder and felonious assault in the killing. Both were being held without bond Sunday night and are scheduled to appear today in Lorain Municipal Court.

The manager said the killing was also captured on surveillance video from Rainbow Bakery & Market, which is at the corner of East 29th Street and Pearl and is also across the street from Southerner’s. The market, which is also a restaurant, was closed Sunday night but was open when the shooting occurred. The market has at least one camera on the outside of the building pointed toward Pearl Street.

Detective Buddy Sivert, the lead investigator of the killing, wouldn’t say what is visible on the video and said he didn’t know what the motive for the killing was. Sivert said no more arrests are expected unless “somebody lies to us during the investigation.”

Gerardo Velez, Moises Velez’s father, said Sunday he hadn’t seen the video.

Velez, 44, said he didn’t know Guerra, but had known Alvarado since around 1995 or 1996 when the Alvarado family moved down the street, coming from Puerto Rico. The family moved away around 2005 or 2006.

Velez said Alvarado and his 22-year-old son were friends.

“He was like family,” Velez said of Alvarado.

Velez said relatives were told his son was trying to protect a friend by refusing to give his whereabouts before being shot.

“He got shot for his friend,” Velez said.

Both Guerra and Moises Velez were familiar to police. Prior to being charged with killing Velez, Guerra was arrested on Thursday and charged with felonious assault for allegedly shooting Ernie Ortiz in the legs outside the Club Copa on June 12. Moises Velez — who had convictions for resisting arrest, theft and possession of marijuana — was charged with felonious assault for allegedly shooting Lorain resident Christian McAfee in the hand after a fight at Vic’s Nightclub in downtown Elyria on March 20.

Sivert said police are investigating whether the shootings may have been connected to the killing. Velez’s cousin, Juan Maldonado, said Velez told him he feared for his life in recent weeks and was carrying a pistol.

However, Gerardo Velez said he believes his son was at ease on Wednesday. Velez said his son — who had dropped out of automotive school in Pennsylvania, but had spoken of returning — was a good young man who hung around with the wrong people.

Velez, who will bury his son today, said he hopes his son’s death will discourage more violence.

“The kids in Lorain are going crazy with guns,” he said. “I hope somebody wakes up.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.