Homewood teenager held for trial in East Busway killing; apologizes for his role in homicide

October 26, 2013 2:00 AM
By Liz Navratil / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Homewood teenager told Pittsburgh police first that he blacked out when he killed a man along the East Busway earlier this month.

Then, he said he fired the fatal shots because he wanted to cement his friendship with the two men accused of helping him rob the victim.

Jordan Bey, 16, made his comments during a nine-minute videotaped interview with homicide detectives six days after police said he shot 21-year-old Omar Islam of Perry South seven times.

Pittsburgh police video: Jordan Bey interview

Jordan Bey, 16, of Homewood, has been ordered to stand trial as an adult in the Oct. 8 shooting death of 21-year-old Omar Islam. This is video of the suspect's interview with Pittsburgh police. (10/25/2013)

District Judge Anthony Saveikis ordered Jordan, who is charged as an adult, to stand trial Friday after he watched the video and heard testimony from Pittsburgh homicide detectives James McGee and Margaret Sherwood.

It was the first time prosecutors have shown a videotaped interview with a homicide suspect at a preliminary hearing in Allegheny County. Jordan's defense attorney, Lisa Phillips, did not object.

Dressed in a dark shirt and jean jacket, Jordan sat across the table from Detective McGee, Detective Vonzale Boose and his mother, Persia Harper.

"I just wanted to start by saying how sorry I am for what I put this family through and what I put my family through and myself," Jordan began.

Then, he described in detail the night Mr. Islam died. Jordan said he and 20-year-old Desmond Young, a friend who has also been charged in the case, were playing a game when a man known as Blue joined them and said he had been arguing with his girlfriend.

"So him and Desmond was going on the book, planning to look for missions, people to rob and whatnot," Jordan said, referring to Facebook.

When that didn't work, he said, they staked out an ATM on North Homewood Avenue, and when that didn't work they went to the East Busway. Jordan said Blue handed him a .22-caliber revolver, scoped out the busway and told them it was time.

Jordan said he pointed the gun at Mr. Islam and demanded his phone. He said Mr. Young punched Mr. Islam and continued to beat him until Jordan shot Mr. Islam in the leg.

Jordan said he and Mr. Young began walking away when Mr. Islam approached them and, "I had blacked out, I fired some more shots and we had left."

An autopsy report entered into evidence indicates that one bullet struck Mr. Islam's leg, five entered through his back and one in his head. Investigators have said they suspect Jordan shot Mr. Islam in the leg and fired the shots into his back while Mr. Islam tried to hobble away, then fired the shot to the head.

Jordan told police where they could find the gun and Mr. Islam's cell phone. Officers have not yet found the duffle bag Mr. Islam was carrying at the time. They were also looking Friday night for leads on Blue.

Jordan is scheduled to appear in court again for formal arraignment Nov. 19.

He ended his interview with police with one final statement: "I just wanted to say that I was very influenced, like I just wanted to know that I was their friend. I didn't want them to think I was against them when it came down to this situation like that. And I'm very, very sorry about it. I really am."

First Published October 25, 2013 11:47 PM