Tips Help Lead to Arrest in McDonald’s Murder

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AKRON-- Tips from residents of the Akron area are credited with police identifying the accused killer of a local man behind the restaurant where he worked.

John Lehman, 28, was shot while taking out trash behind a West Market Street McDonald's restaurant on April 6.

Investigators said he may have interrupted an attempted robbery of the restaurant.

"He was confronted at the back door by our suspect, Johnnl Lewis, 21-year-old-male right here in Akron, who basically fired shots at John Lehman and fled," said Lt. Rick Edwards of the Akron Police.

Lewis was arrested late Tuesday.

A police report showed he gave officers a video taped confession.

News of his arrest was welcomed by friends of the victim.

"It's really kind of sad just to hear that somebody just shot to kill this person. He don't never try to hurt anybody," said Arisz Thornton of Akron, adding, "Why would you try to kill somebody and they have never done anything to you?"

"He went to work and come home and that's about it; but he would give you the shirt off your back; give you his last dollar if you needed it," said Jerry Cummins, who described Lehman as "a good guy, didn't deserve what he got."

Lehman, who was originally from the Columbus, Ohio area, had a passion for music according to his close friends. He was a quiet person who stayed to himself and would not have seemed threatening in any way, according to those who knew him well.

"I have prayed every night, you know, God rest his soul and I have prayed that they arrest the son of a gun that did it because it was just worthless," said Dana Shoenstein.

Others see Lehman as a hero, suspecting that he prevented the gunman from getting into the building where others could have been shot.

Lewis is expected to make his first court appearance on Thursday.

Police on Wednesday said they were unaware of any previous serious criminal history involving him.

"This is one of those cases where it takes the community to help the police department solve a lot of these crimes and we are very appreciative of that," said Edwards, who said Lewis was identified by connecting the dots on multiple tips.

A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in the murder but on Wednesday it was unclear if anyone would be eligible to collect.