Victims' friend says he fired gun in panic

Man claims he retrieved firearm from car after fight

now, `It's gone'

April 07, 2000|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

The man who fired a handgun at Ray Lewis' limousine the night two men were murdered in Atlanta said he was panicked over seeing his friends dying in the street and wanted to get the vehicle to stop.

"I was just seeing my friends laying there," Marlin Burros, 33, said in a telephone interview yesterday from his Atlanta-area home.

Burros said he has permanently disposed of the gun since then, but declined to say how. "It's gone," he said.

Jacinth Baker, 21, and Richard Lollar, 24, were stabbed to death on Jan. 31. Lewis, an All-Pro Ravens linebacker, and two companions have been charged with assault and murder in the deaths.

Lewis is scheduled to go on trial May 15 with the co-defendants, Joseph Sweeting, 34, of Miami, and Reginald Oakley, 31, of Baltimore. All three have pleaded not guilty.

A music producer and dog breeder who raises pit bulls, Bourros said he and his friends rarely went out to clubs but had decided to take in some of the post-Super Bowl night life. The NFL championship was played in Atlanta.

He said he went to the Cobalt Lounge, an upscale nightclub, with friends, including Baker and Lollar. He said he had known the men for about four years, beginning in Akron, Ohio, where they all grew up. Burros moved to Georgia three years ago, he said.

The group left the Cobalt about 3: 30 a.m. as the bar was closing, he said. Also leaving the Cobalt was a group that included Lewis.

The two parties collided violently a few blocks down the street. Accounts vary as to who started the ruckus, but a fight broke out, and Baker and Lollar ended up with fatal stab wounds to the heart.

Burros said he was a few blocks away when the fight broke out and doesn't know what sparked it. "I was up the street talking to some females," he said. "I didn't see anything."

By the time he got to the fight scene, Baker and Lollar were on the ground and the combatants were scattering, he said. Lewis and his companions were returning to the football player's 37-foot, rented limo.

Burros said he got his gun from the car he and his friends had driven that night and fired several shots at the departing limo, flattening the tire.

Other witnesses have said it appeared the gun was on the scene earlier in the sequence of events.

Police found several bullet holes in the right side of the vehicle, two of them behind the front passenger door, one between the front wheel and the headlight, and one that flattened the tire.

Burros said the police have not said if they will charge him with any handgun violations. "They said they would deal with me later," he said.

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