Police identify sedan service driver, 56, killed in Westport

December 23, 2013|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A 56-year-old sedan service driver fatally shot Saturday was the father of five children and was beloved by his clients, according to a business associate.

John Achiampong of Brooklyn was picking up a customer in the 2400 block of Maisel Couirt in Westport about 2 p.m. when a gunman opened fire, striking Achimapong in the head and injuring a second man.

Steven Lehman said Achiampong worked with him for four years.

"I've literally been through thousands of drivers, and as far as character goes, I'd put him in the top 1 percent," Lehman said. "My regular customers that know John are crying on the phone. He was such a hell of a nice guy."

Police have said little publicly about the case, but Lehman said he was told by detectives that Achiampong was not the target of the shooting. He said Achiampong was picking up a customer from an address where he'd been "hundreds of times."

In a shooting that occurred downtown in the 300 block of Park Ave. about 3 a.m. Sunday morning, police identified the victim as Eli Barber-El, 37. Barber-El was shot in the head, and a second man suffered a gunshot wound to the groin.

Police did not release any additional information on the shooting. Barber-El was charged in the death of 18-year-old Richard Nicholson in November 2003, which authorities alleged at the time started a chain reaction of violence that led to the killing of Barber-El's brother, Abdullah, 25, that day. Nicholson's brother, Jeremiah Harper, was charged in Abdullah Barber-El's killing.

Court records show Eli Barber-El was acquitted of murder but convicted of assault and sentenced to 12 years in prison, while Harper received two years for manslaughter and handgun convictions.

Police also identified the man killed Friday afternoon in the 1200 block of N. Luzerne Ave. as Anthony McMillian, 36. Police said the shooting occurred in view of a patrol officer, and the suspect fired at the officer then eluded him after a foot chase. Police have not released a description of the suspect.

jfenton@baltsun.com


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