Suspect in 2020 deadly Johnstown shooting back to face charges

Local News

Amir Matthews, 20, is accused of shooting and killing a Johnstown man in 2020.

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Philadelphia man accused of shooting and killing a man in Johnstown is back in Cambria County to face homicide-related charges.

Amir Matthews, 20, was accused of shooting 26-year-old Armel Joe in the abdomen at Coopersdale Homes in Johnstown, according to court documents. It occurred in the parking lot behind a row of cars nearest to building 20 around 1 a.m. Joe was taken to the Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center and was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

Mugshot of 20-year-old Amir Matthews from Cambria County Prison.

A witness told Johnstown police that around 15-20 minutes before the killing, Matthews was at an apartment looking for his gun. A short time later, she said she heard a fight out in the parking lot.

The witness went outside and caught a glimpse of Matthews in the middle of a crowd of people who had surrounded a fight that was taking place. Then, she said people started running away and ducking at the same time, saying a gun had just been pulled out.

After people started running away, the witness heard Joe yelling at Matthews, saying things such as “you got me ****** up,” “throw that ****,” and “I dare you” before several gunshots rang out, police wrote in the affidavit.

She then saw Joe was shot and lying on the ground.

Security footage did not catch the fight or the shooting, but Joe could be seen in view of the camera collapsing to the ground after being shot. Matthews could then be seen running into view of the camera to Joe’s side as he was dying before walking away, charges noted.

During the investigation, a confidential informant came to police and said they witnessed Matthews shoot and kill Joe. Another informant came forward and said Matthews told them he admitted to killing Joe.

In December of 2020, 27-year-old Terrell “Unique Freeman” Foreman was arraigned and charged for allegedly hiding the gun Matthews is said to have used in her baby bag before giving it to him.

A witness also told police that Foreman and Dawn “Duchess” Smith hid Matthews in their home after the murder before driving to Philadelphia.

Matthews and Foreman are both behind bars, though there is no update on Smith.

Matthews was arraigned Tuesday one count of criminal homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. He was incarcerated in Philadephia since January for illegally carrying a firearm in public before behind transferred to Cambria County jail Monday.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m.

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