HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Police announced Friday they made an arrest in the deadly shooting of a woman in Hollywood that officials originally suspected was random.
Ezeoma Obioha, 31, is accused of shooting Carrie Melvin, 30, in the back of the head July 5 as she walked with her boyfriend through her Hollywood neighborhood — Sunset Boulevard and McCadden Place — to get something to eat.
What initially perplexed investigators was that no one else nearby, including the victim’s boyfriend, was harmed. Melvin — am aspiring entertainer — reportedly had no known enemies. And police say the suspect didn’t seem interested in robbing the couple.
Detectives Friday say they’ve since learned that Obioha had a financial dispute with the victim.
He’s been booked on suspicion of murder and is being held on $1 million bail.
On Saturday, CBS2’s Laurie Perez spoke with people who said they often saw the victim and the suspect hanging out together.
When LAPD officers in riot gear and weapons drawn showed up at the weed shop, many people — including barbershop owner Maurice Manley — started putting two and two together.
“He was working at the dispensary so I figured they were going there to look for him,” said Manley.
Him refers to Obioha or “E” as he was known to people in the neighborhood and M. Barbering
When he saw on the news that Melvin was murdered, Manley said to himself, “Oh, that’s the girl that would be with E next door.”
Yesterday is all seemed to come together, Manley told Perez.
Observers told her they’d seen Melvin with Obioha often — that he was renting two storefronts as a studio and a clothing shop and also worked at the dispensary.
“Sometimes she would come with him and other times she would come by herself and open up his unit,” Manley says, “I saw her for maybe a month and then I didn’t see her anymore.”
Manley said Obioha’s car is still parked behind their business. The car has many signs it belongs to someone who works with a security service. Observers said Obioha considered himself something of a one-man police force.
“We called him Robo Cop or SWAT cause every day he’d have a gun on his leg, bullet proof vest, walkie talkie,” said Manley.
Police believe Obioha and Melvin had some kind of falling out over money and that he was waiting for her on July 5th.
Perez could not reach Melvin’a family for a comment.