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U.S. Marshals search for fugitive in East Cleveland torture, murder case

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 12:10 AM EST
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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The U.S. Marshals are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the final suspect in the torture and killing of 22-year-old Alishah Pointer.

Hakeem-Ali Shomo, 30, is the last of seven suspects accused in the case that remains on the loose.

“He’s way up on our list, we want to get him off the streets as soon as possible,” said Pete Elliott, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio. “He’s a very dangerous guy.”

Pointer’s body was found on Nov. 4 in the basement of a burned-out abandoned home in the 14500 block of Savannah Avenue in East Cleveland.

Six suspects have already been taken into custody; Ali Shomo is believed to be the final person connected to the murder.

“We are going to pursue him everywhere and follow up on every lead,” said Elliott. “I’m 100 percent confident we’re going to have him in custody very soon.”

But the hunt itself presents its own challenges— even for the highly trained violent fugitive task force.

“It’s very dangerous for our men and women,” Elliott said. “Desperate people commit desperate acts with tragic consequences. This guy is a desperate person right now.”

According to East Cleveland Police Chief Scott Gardner, the assailants believed Pointer had information relative to a crime committed in Cleveland and they tortured her in an attempt to get this information.

Family members told 19 News the information was related to the murder of Aminjas Shomo, 19, in Slavic Village earlier this month.

Chief Gardner added Pointer was transported to several different locations before finally being killed on Savannah Avenue.

Anyone with information Shomo can call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED.

Hakeem Ali Shomo is wanted by East Cleveland police in connection wtih the disappearance and...
Hakeem Ali Shomo is wanted by East Cleveland police in connection wtih the disappearance and killing of Alishah Pointer.(East Cleveland police)

On Monday morning, four out of the seven suspects accused in Pointer’s torture and murder pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Portria Williams, Nathaniel Poke, Anthony Bryant and Brittany Smith were all indicted on the charges of aggravated murder and kidnapping.

Pointer’s family members said Smith and Polk were both trusted friends of the family.

Nathaniel Poke
Nathaniel Poke (East Cleveland police)

The judge ordered them held on a $2 million bond.

Their next court date is Nov. 30.

Two 17-year-old girls are also in custody and are being held at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

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