Suspect in double homicide apprehended in Louisiana

LIMA — The Lima Police Department has reported on its Facebook page that the suspect in the Saturday night shooting deaths of Romelo Blackman and John Dyes was arrested late Monday evening in Louisiana.

An arrest warrant was issued Monday for Kenyatta Washington, 26, on a charge of murder, according to the report. The Lima man was arrested with the assistance of law enforcement in Louisiana.

Officers from the LPD responded shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday to 438 W. McKibben St. in Lima in reference to a shooting. Upon their arrival they discovered the bodies of Blackman, 28, and Dyes, 18. Both died from apparent gunshot wounds, police said.

In a phone conversation with The Lima News, Blackman’s father dispelled widely circulated rumors that his son’s death was gang-related.

“This was definitely not a gang-related shooting. The truth goes way beyond gang-related,” Steve Allen Jr. told the newspaper. “My son was brutally murdered by his best friend … without a fight and without an argument.”

Allen said Kenyatta Washington and Romelo had been close friends for years and that Washington lived with Blackman for a time. He believes the Washington’s actions are linked to his recent discharge from the Army.

“Something is going on over there — in the Army. They’re discharging people with mental conditions. Somebody’s eyes need to be opened to people who are coming home from the military with mental issues,” Allen said.

“My son was a good kid, and this is not a gang-related matter,” he repeated.

Allen also alleged that a shooting that same evening on South Roberts Avenue in which Shondale Mayo Jr., 21, suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds was related to the McKibben Street double homicide.

Detective Jesse Harrod said the investigation into the incident involving Mayo is still under investigation but said it is “a real possibility” that the two shootings are related.

“I can’t say for certain; it’s something we’re looking into,” Harrod said.