Police: York City bar shooter had been in bathroom with victim

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Bruce Jermaine Murray, also known as BJ, is charged with criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault and charges related to the unlawful possession of a firearm.

York City Police continue to search for a man accused of shooting a fellow customer outside an east-end bar over the weekend.

Once captured, Bruce Jermaine Murray Jr. will be charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, carrying a firearm without a license and being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a gun, according to court documents.

Murray, 24, of the 300 block of Stone Avenue, also is known as Brandon Orr, charging documents state.

He is accused of shooting Kason Dykes, 31, of York City, at 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, outside Pandora's Box, a bar at 466 E. Market St, according to York City Police.

Charging documents filed Sunday against Murray by lead York City Detective Travis Sowers state that officers found Dykes lying on the sidewalk just west of the bar, and they also found two spent .40-caliber shell casings.

Dykes was taken to York Hospital by ambulance, where he underwent immediate surgery, according to documents.

In bathroom together: Prior to the shooting, Murray and Dykes had been in Pandora's Box, police said, and video surveillance footage from inside the bar shows them going into a bathroom together.

"As they come out of the bathroom, they are later escorted out the front door of the bar," charging documents state, adding: 

"Once outside the bar, the suspect is seen pulling a handgun from his right jacket pocket and walking into the breezeway just west of the bar. The victim follows the suspect into the front of the breezeway and is shot by the suspect and falls to the ground."

Three witnesses told investigators it was Murray who shot Dykes, according to charging documents.

Police said the two men argued, but investigators don't yet know about what.

Murray pleaded guilty in 2012 to a felony drug-dealing charge, police said. In Pennsylvania, felons aren't permitted to own or even hold guns.

Free on bail: York County Court records show that Murray was free on $7,500 bail in a separate criminal case when he allegedly shot Dykes.

Court records show that Spring Garden Township Police in September filed charges against him including being a felon in illegal firearm possession, DUI, escape and fleeing or attempting to elude police. 

Once he's arrested, his bail in the Spring Garden Township case will likely be revoked.

Court records show that Murray pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and criminal mischief in a 2014 case that also was filed by Spring Garden police.

In exchange for his plea, charges of escape and being a felon in illegal gun possession were dropped, records state.

GVI special attention: Because Murray associates with York "group" members, his criminal charges in a street shooting means those close to him also are now receiving special attention, police said.

In GVI parlance, gangs are referred to as groups, and "special attention" means ratcheting up pressure.

York City residents Rodney Wayne Johnson and Michael Pagan Jr. did not participate in the Pandora's Box shooting, according to city Detective First Class Andrew Shaffer. They are, however, associated with Murray, he said.

The national Group Violence Intervention initiative adopted by York City calls for police and prosecutors to go after a street shooter's associates, including fellow gang members, for any crimes, no matter how small.

The idea is that such unwanted attention will eventually cause gang/group members to pressure each other not to needlessly bring the attention of police. One of GVI's mottoes is, "Guns bring police, shootings bring police."

Johnson, 20, is wanted on unrelated felony gun violations as well as on a bench warrant for heroin possession, according to police.

Cash rewards offered: Pagan, 19, is wanted on unrelated felony gun violations and a bench warrant in a domestics case, police said.

York City Police said cash rewards are being offered for the tipsters who help investigators track down Murray, Johnson or Pagan — and said tipsters can be anonymous.

Text "Yorktips" and your information to 847411, or call the city's anonymous crime tip line at 717-849-2204. Or call York County Crime Stoppers at 717-755-TIPS.

During normal business hours, tipsters can call the York City Police Department at 717-846-1234 or its detective bureau at 717-849-2219.

Shaffer said police don't know of any family connection between Bruce Murray and recent York City homicide victim Jameel Murray.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.