Witness to fatal shooting: 'He stood over him and emptied his pistol'
Seconds before he was shot, Bhagavan Allen turned around in the middle of Grove Street, raised his hands in the air, as if to surrender, and cried “No no no!”
Courtesy of WCSO
He turned to run before two gunshots rang out, the bullets causing him to fall to the ground. The shooter ran up to him, stood over him and fired at least three more shots into his already-wounded body, a witness testified in court Friday.
Todd Von Schulze, who watched the incident unfold while he was in his nearby home, described Allen’s death at Leonard Ware’s preliminary exam Friday morning. Ware is accused of murdering Allen, 29, of Superior Township, after an Oct. 3 argument at Marsh Plating in Ypsilanti.
“Once he caught up to him, he stood over him and emptied his pistol into him,” Von Schulze said.
From the Facebook profile of Bhagavan Allen
Ware, 34, of Ypsilanti Township, is charged with open murder, carrying a concealed weapon, being a felon in possession of a firearm and being in possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. District Court Judge Richard Conlin bound Ware over on all those counts to the Washtenaw County Trial Court following a preliminary examination Friday.
Police said Ware and Allen worked together at Marsh Plating Co. in Ypsilanti and argued before the incident. Testimony given at the hearing Friday shed more light on the final moments before Allen’s death.
Michael Malone, who worked with Allen and Ware at Marsh Plating, said the two men got into an argument at approximately 2 p.m. Malone said Ware didn’t believe Allen was working hard enough, and Allen took offense, threatening to fight Ware. Ware didn’t back down and the two men got into each other’s faces, exchanging threats, Malone said.
At one point during the argument, Ware offered a fist bump to Allen as a peace offering and Allen ignored it, Malone said. He then tried to get Ware to go outside and fight and told Ware “You better go get your thing” and made a gun sign with his fingers.
Shortly after the argument, Allen and Malone went on breaks one after the other. During the court proceeding Friday, Jeff Taylor, Ware’s attorney, said Allen slapped Ware in the face during the time Malone was on break.
Malone testified Ware left the plant and came back about 3 p.m., approaching Allen and telling him he wasn’t going to lose his job fighting Allen at work and they’d settle the argument after their shifts ended. Ware left the plant when his shift ended shortly before Malone and Allen got off work.
Ware approached Malone and another man while they were smoking a cigarette outside the plant and asked for Allen, just as he walked outside. Malone said the two men walked toward Michigan Avenue on opposite sides of Grove Street. After following them for a short time, Malone went back to the plant, got in his car and drove toward the men.
As he got to the intersection of South Grove Street and Michigan Avenue, Malone said he heard gunshots. At this point, Ware and Allen were near the intersection of South Street and South Grove Street.
“I looked up and I seen Van fall,” he said, adding, “Leonard stood over him and shot a few more times.”
Ware took off running back toward Michigan Avenue, veering behind some buildings, Malone said.
Ware eventually turned himself into police on Oct. 8. He’s being held at the Washtenaw County Jail without bond and, if convicted on the open murder charge, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Ware will return to court at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 14 for a pretrial hearing.