Whitehall police arrested a man Dec. 3 in connection with the city’s first homicide in more than two years.
Police arrested Woldai Gebremedhin, 57, whose last known address was on Cleveland Avenue in Columbus, Whitehall police said.
He is charged with aggravated murder, accused in the Nov. 21 shooting death of Mulugeta Shiferaw in the parking lot of V-Tech Auto Service, 4257 E. Main St.
Gebremedhin was arrested in the 2300 block of Cleveland Avenue, at a car-repair shop where he also was known to reside, Whitehall Sgt. John Grebb said.
The Nov. 21 homicide was not a random shooting, Grebb said.
“The victim and the suspect had been acquaintances for years and the shooting is believed to stem from a previous dispute,” Grebb said.
It is not clear how long the pair were acquainted or the origin of the conflict that led to the shooting, but the suspect told police, "We just didn’t get along," Grebb said.
Police responded to multiple reports of gunfire in the area of East Main Street and Elaine Road at 4:36 p.m. Nov. 21, the afternoon before Thanksgiving, and found Shiferaw, 47, of Heather Bridge Lane in Blacklick, lying in the parking lot of V-Tech Auto Service, where he was an employee.
Whitehall medics pronounced Shiferaw dead at the scene, Grebb said.
The slaying was the first in Whitehall since April 2016.
That homicide was the second and last of 2016 and followed an aberrant 2015, in which nine slayings were recorded in the city.
Police made arrests in both homicides in 2016 and made arrests in each homicide case in 2015, except for an instance in which the suspect committed suicide.
The arrest in the latest homicide extends the detective bureau’s closure rate.
“This arrest is the result of hard work by the Whitehall Police Department’s detective bureau, crime analyst unit, assistance and cooperation from the community, along with media attention,” Police Chief Mike Crispen said.
Gebremedhin has a prior criminal record, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.
Whitehall police charged him Nov. 13 with aggravated menacing and domestic violence, according to records.
That case is active, with a pretrial hearing scheduled for Dec. 18.
Whitehall police also charged him Nov. 18 with violation of a protection order.
Both incidents occurred at a residence on Beechwood Road in Whitehall, records show.
Gebremedhin is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Dec. 5 in municipal court in connection with the charge of aggravated murder, according to records.