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Man killed at Cleveland basketball court may not have been the shooters’ intended target

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 9:40 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 Investigates has learned the man recently shot and killed on a Cleveland basketball court may not have been the intended target.

Neighbors said they found the second shooting victim in their backyard bleeding and begging for help.

Officers say that victim told witnesses he thinks the shooters were after him.

William Hanlon looked out the window of his home on West 134th street a few Saturdays ago to see paramedics helping the man who’d been shot in the hip.

He was later identified him as 25-year-old Korey Abbott.

According to a police report, he told Hanlon’s neighbors he ran through the neighborhood after a drive-by shooting at the basketball court two streets over.

The report says Abbott told the witnesses that he’d come to Jefferson Park from the East Side. He said he “had a beef” with someone and that’s why he believed he was the intended target of the shooting.

Editor’s note: Korey Abbott reached out to 19 Investigates with a statement on April 27th, the day after the story was published.

Abbott says he does not know the suspects arrested in the Jefferson Park incident. Therefore he no longer believes he was the target of the shooting. He says he doesn’t know whether his friend who died was the intended target either.

Torrey Bowling Jr. didn’t make it off the court that day.

Another neighbor who was afraid for his safety didn’t want to go on camera, but told us he sat with Bowling until paramedics arrived.

“I’m not going to stand there and let him die on that court by himself,” he said. “Of course we’re scared. We’re scared here for the kids also.”

The good news, if any in this case, is that the shooter or shooters are NOT still on the loose.

Not too long after the crime, police said they spotted their car on the east side.

After a short pursuit, the car crashed over on Baldwin.

Police said the suspect car that crashed was stolen in an aggravated robbery on the West Side the day before the shooting.

Four guys inside ran, but police caught up and arrested them.

Police said three of them - two 18-year-olds and a 17-year-old minor are connected to the shooting.

It’s the second deadly shooting at the park in less than a year, and it’s left the neighborhood in fear.

“It’s bad because there are good people at this park. They work hard they come home and they have to deal with it.”

“It’s not like this is happening after dark. Both times it didn’t. So, I am making a more concerted effort to avoid it when running the dog. Because, like I said, my neighbor was out and she had to hide behind a tree,” Hanlon said.

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