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Homicide solved, two charged in gang slaying

A little over a year ago, on Feb. 8, 2017, a man who was leaving his Bethlehem home for work noticed something unfamiliar on the sidewalk near the northeast corner of Sioux and Sassafras Streets. Because it was 2 a.m., it was difficult to make things out. But as he drew closer, he realized it was a person lying on that sidewalk. That person was later identified as Teayahe Glover, a 19-year-old woman living in the area. She had suffered multiple gunshot wounds, including one to her face.

Bethlehem police opened an investigation. Detective Christopher Beebe suspected this shooting might be related to one that had taken place just six days earlier and about five blocks away. But he was unable to coax witnesses into talking and asked the Investigating Grand Jury, with its subpoena powers, for help. Thanks to that investigative tool, Bethlehem police were able to crack the case.

On Monday, homicide and conspiracy charges were filed against Xavier Sheldon Snyder, age 18, of Washington, NJ, and Kasheem Abdullah Aiken, age 36,of Easton. District Attorney John Morganelli announced that both defendants were being picked up.

According to Morganelli, Glover was killed in retaliation for cooperating with police in the shooting that had occurred just six days earlier. Young’s gang allies also blamed her for the shooting.

The evidence garnered by the grand jury is that Alan Young, a gang member with the Hoover 74 Crips, believed that Glover might have also been seeing Tariq Page, a member of the Grape Street Crips. The two scuffled, and Paige pulled a gun and shot Young, seriously wounding him.

Glover witnessed the fight. Instead of remaining silent, she called police. This resulted in Paige’s arrest and ultimate conviction of attempted murder. He’ll be behind bars for the next seven years

Young was friendly with both Defendants, and all three were associated with a third local gang known simply as Cherokee. The Defendants began threatening Glover..

Shortly before Glover was shot and killed, she had received several text messages blaming her for the Young shooting. Two males were ringing the doorbell of her home at Seneca Street and then running off.

On her Facebook page, Glover posted this status: “The scariest s--t just happened to me. I’m freaked tf out yo! I want all this to be over. I can’t deal. I’m gonna lose it.”

It was the last Facebook message she ever sent.

Around that time, Defendant Aiken began pressuring Defendant Snyder to lure Glover out of her Seneca Street home. When Snyder initially demurred, Aiken grabbed him by the arm and told him to text her or “I’m going to shoot you in the face.”

Snyder then texted Glover to say that he and his cousin had come by to see if she wanted to smoke marijuana. “I need a smoke,” she answered and agreed to meet him outside.

The two began walking and talking. She was unaware that Aiken was behind her, and he opened fire at the northeast corner of Sioux and Sassafras Street. She collapsed, but was moving along the sidewalk. Aiken walked up and shot her in the face. Then he turned to Snyder and said, “Let’s go or you’re next.”

After reciting the facts as determined by the Grand Jury, Morganelli lamented the “wall of silence” that surrounds gang activity, saying that state law should be strengthened to make gang membership by itself a crime. Bethlehem Police Chief complimented Assistant DA Bill Blake, Detective Beebe and the Grand Jury for “bringing he wall of silence down.” The Chief added, “We need to take notice of these organized criminals, and that’s what they are, basically predators in our society. We need to remove them. We need something like a RICO statute on the state level.”

The RICO statute is a federal statute applied to organized crime like the mafia, drug cartels and even politicians like Chaka Fattah.

As Morganelli announced the arrests, Glover’s mother, Tanya Miller, fought back tears and held hands with Reverend Tim Smith of the Faith Works House at Salvation Army. He said that Glover’s presence “still hovers over us, and we want her to know she’s not forgotten.” He said the family listens to “God’s voice of justice,” and thanked those in law enforcement “for holding fast to your calling.”.

DA John Morganelli and Police Chief Mark DiLuzio annnounce homide charges.