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‘I Just Had to Shoot Him’: Pennsylvania Barbershop Owner Accused of Killing Neighbor Over Alleged Racial Slur

Barbershop Owner Allegedly Kills Neighbor Over Racial Slur: Police
Source: Hatboro Police Department; Unsplash

Maurice Byrd allegedly shot his upstairs neighbor to death after he called him a racial slur, police said.

Jun. 11 2024, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

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The owner of a Pennsylvania barbershop has been arrested after law enforcement officials claim he fatally shot his upstairs neighbor after the neighbor allegedly called him a racial slur.

Around 6 p.m. on June 8, officers responded to Razor Reese’s Salon and Spa in Hatboro and found 37-year-old Stephen Strassburg in the parking lot suffering from gunshot wounds, according to the Hatboro Police Department.

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Officials transported Strassburg to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by WCAU-TV, Strassburg sustained at least three gunshots to his head, shoulder and back.

Investigators determined Strassburg lived above Razor Reese’s Salon and Spa, which was owned by 41-year-old Maurice Byrd, and the two reportedly had an ongoing dispute.

Shortly before officers arrived on scene, Byrd reportedly called 911 and alleged Strassburg had verbally assaulted him and called him a racial slur.

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Officials said the 911 dispatcher heard several gunshots, followed by a pause and then two more gunshots.

A neighbor told officers that a person lunged at Byrd and call him the racial slur moments before the shooting, investigators said.


When talking with investigators, Byrd reportedly said he was standing outside the barbershop smoking a cigarette when Strassburg allegedly yelled a racial slur at him, according to the criminal complaint.

Byrd then went into the barbershop and grabbed his phone to call 911. That is when Strassburg allegedly opened the door and shouted the slur again at Byrd, officials said.

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Byrd told police that when he went outside again, Strassburg started moving toward him. Strasbourg then allegedly grabbed Byrd’s shirt, prompting Byrd to grab his gun from the front of his waistband, he told police.

Strassburg allegedly said, “What you gonna do, shoot me" and called Byrd the slur while pulling his arm back to possibly punch Byrd, police said.

According to police, Byrd dropped his cellphone, started firing his gun, and then picked up the phone and started speaking with the 911 dispatcher again.

According to the criminal complaint, Byrd told the dispatcher, “I just had to shoot him" and admitted to punching the victim.

Officers were able to recover seven spent cartridge casings and a handgun registered to Byrd, who had a permit to carry. Strassburg was not armed during the deadly incident.

Byrd was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder and possession of a weapon, authorities said.

He was booked into jail and was being held without bail.


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