Homicide suspect arrested in city

Accused of killing gang member

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A man who had evaded authorities for months was arrested in a bar late Thursday night on charges that he killed a longtime member of the Hazelwood Mob street gang earlier this month.

Jay Morrison also was wanted for threatening and attacking people at a "ladies' night" party in Rankin and for fleeing police in Pitcairn.

Pittsburgh police did not say why Morrison, 37, of Braddock, killed Harold Cabbagestalk, 40, who was twice arrested but never convicted in killings himself, inside the Flamingo Bar in the Hill District.

Cabbagestalk met Morrison and others at the bar to watch the Steelers game about 8:30 p.m. Sept. 16. The group drank and danced, and at some point, police said, Cabbagestalk and Morrison began arguing.

Surveillance footage shows Morrison, a large man with dreadlocks, punched Cabbage-stalk several times, knocking him to the floor. About 11:35 p.m., he pulled a small-caliber pistol out of the left side of his waistband, passed it over to his right hand and aimed at Cab-bagestalk, police said.

Cabbagestalk tried to get up off the floor while Morrison unloaded eight shots into him, according to a criminal complaint.

When Pittsburgh police arrived moments later, they found Cabbagestalk lying on the floor in a corner of the bar while a woman tried to help him. Medics took Cabbagestalk to UPMC Mercy, where he died about 9:30 a.m. the next day.

Pittsburgh detectives obtained a warrant for Morrison Sept. 19 and arrested him inside Lady Di's bar in Homewood at 11:35 p.m. Thursday after the U.S. marshal's fugitive task force received a tip about his whereabouts.

Rankin police had been searching for Morrison since July. Shortly before midnight on July 20, officers were called to the Hawkins Village housing complex for a report that a fight involving about 30 people broke out at a building where someone was hosting a "ladies' night."

A woman told police Morrison punched her in the head. A man told them Morrison punched him in the face. Another woman told police Morrison hit her in the head with a chair and then hit her again when she tried to get off the ground. Another man said Morrison "sucker punched" him while he was trying to help a woman off the ground, according to police.

That night, five people told Rankin police they heard Morrison intended to come back and shoot people at the building, according to a criminal complaint charging Morrison with simple assault and terroristic threats.

Five days after that fight, Pitcairn police said they found Morrison riding as the passenger in a Mercedes Benz that they stopped shortly after midnight because the driver was riding around without his headlights on. When they ran his name through the system, they did not find any warrants for him, according to a criminal complaint.

Officers wrote that the driver sped off, winding in and out of traffic until he broke through a road closure barricade on Wall Avenue and crashed into a guardrail. They said the driver ran away and Morrison climbed out through the window, scaled the guardrail and jumped into a creek, where police later found him and handcuffed him. They later released him and charged him by summons.

Courts records show Morrison spent time in several state correctional institutions over the years. His record includes convictions on charges of aggravated assault, gun violations and drug charges, among others.

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Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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