A teen connected to a string of carjackings of ride-sharing drivers is now accused of the murder of a 45-year-old Lyft driver.
Elijah Newman was found dead in a car with gunshot wounds in the torso shortly before 11 p.m. on April 15, Missouri authorities said.
Police said Torian Wilson, 17, admitted to being at the scene of the shooting after police found him nearby with a gun that matched a bullet casing found next to Newman’s body.
There was a series of recently reported carjackings happening to ridesharing companies in the area, police said.
Authorities traced Wilson’s phone and an email address was linked between his cellphone and the carjackings of ride-sharing drivers, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Detectives got a search warrant and tracked Wilson’s cellphone within a 1,700-meter radius to where Newman was shot, police said.
Newman immigrated to the U.S. from Ghana a decade ago and his friend said he ferried passengers for Lyft to make ends meet, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Authorities said they were not sure if Newman was dropping off or picking up a passenger when the shooting happened.
Elizabeth Hylton, a friend of Newman's, told the Post-Dispatch that she was relieved to hear of Wilson’s arrest, but said, “Why? What would drive a man that is at the beginning of his life to ever go and do something as heinous as this?”
Newman was a father of five and was working and saving up to bring his kids to the U.S., St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
A GoFundMe page was created to help support his family in the funeral expenses.
Besides the murder charge, Wilson was also charged with armed criminal action in connection to the shooting death of Newman, authorities said.