October 2, 2014

Elyria
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Second man faces charges tied to fatal Lorain shooting

LORAIN — One of the victims wounded during the New Year’s Day shooting at Liberty Gas that left one man dead is now facing weapons charges.

Bell

Moore

Tate

Noble

Damien Bell, 33, surrendered at the Lorain Police Department on Thursday after learning police were looking for him, police Lt. Roger Watkins said. Bell is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and having weapons under disability.

Watkins said the investigation into the shooting, which has led to a murder charge against 31-year-old Desmen Noble, determined that Bell also was armed with a gun during the early morning hours Tuesday.

According to search warrants filed by Lorain police Detective Mark McCoy for two vehicles involved in the case, surveillance video at the Cotton Club “revealed that Desmen Noble was in a gun fight with Damien Bell.”

A green Ford Explorer fled the scene despite an order from a police officer at the scene to stop, according to McCoy. The SUV was later found in the 1800 block of East 29th Street.

About 20 minutes after the shootout at the Cotton Club, police were called to Liberty Gas on Broadway after shots were fired there.

McCoy wrote in the search warrant requests that “Noble was observed in the surveillance video pointing a weapon and shooting in a northbound direction at a crowd of people. Bell was one of the people in the crowd in front of the gas station.”

Watkins declined to comment on whether anyone else fired a weapon at the gas station.

According to the search warrants, Noble and a man named David West had rented a 2012 Chevy Malibu and that appeared to have been the car Noble got out of just before the gas station shooting. West also told Elyria police that Noble called him after the shooting and discussed it with him.

Two workers at the gas station told police that they took cover when they heard gunfire. By the time police arrived at the scene, all of those who had been shot were gone, transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center by other people.

Bell, Alan Tate, 34, and Tallis Moore, 33, all were shot in their legs, while a fourth man, 33-year-old Herman Seagers was shot in the chest, arm and hand, according to a Lorain police report.

Seagers was treated at Mercy before being taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he was pronounced dead. Watkins said there is no evidence to suggest that Seagers had been at the Cotton Club during the earlier incidents or was the target of the shooting.

Bell told police he was leaving the gas station when he heard gunshots and was hit in the lower left leg.

“(Bell) claimed not to know who shot him and could not provide me with any information regarding the incident,” Lorain police Officer Mark Pultrone wrote in his report.

Moore acknowledged to officers that he and several other people had been at the Cotton Club but went to the gas station to order food. He said when he heard the gunshots as he was getting out of the car, he began to run but was hit and fell to the ground.

He said he didn’t see anyone with a gun or who shot him and couldn’t help police with their investigation.

Tate told police that he saw a disturbance in the parking lot, but since he didn’t know who was involved he went inside to pay for his gas and was shot leaving the station and stumbled away looking for help. He said he didn’t know who took him to the hospital.

Police have said that Noble’s West 22nd Street home was shot at with a high-powered weapon around 3 p.m. Tuesday, although no one was injured in that shooting.

After identifying Noble as a suspect, police were able to track him to South Park Apartments in Elyria, where Watkins said he was arrested without incident Wednesday.

Noble appeared Wednesday in Lorain Municipal Court and his bond was set at $2 million.

His attorney, Mike Kinlin, said he has not yet seen the videos collected by police or any other evidence against his client. He also said that Noble didn’t flee the area after the shooting.

Noble is due back in court Jan. 14, according to court records.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.