Pastor of Edinboro fatal shooting victim speaks out

Local News

The Erie County Coroner has ruled the death of the Edinboro Wendy’s shooting victim a homicide.

According to Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook, 22-year-old Alexander Cavanah died from a gunshot wound to the torso.

On Saturday, a gunman allegedly went into the Wendy’s in Edinboro for an attempted robbery, but then open fired killing Cavanah.

Police have arrested and charged 20-year-old Markese Lampley of Millcreek with first and second degree murder.

Samiar Nefzi was in Edinboro talking with Cavanah’s pastor.

Alex Cavanah and his wife moved to the area over the summer. One person said everybody was somebody to Alex, saying he had an ability to make everyone feel special.

“I’m still processing it. It feels surreal. It feels like a terrible dream,” said Samantha Vannoy, Pastor, Hillcrest Church of Nazarene.

Samantha Vannoy is still reacting following Saturday’s shooting that took the life of 22-year-old Alexander Cavanah, adding he was a young man willing to help anyone out.

“He has an incredible integrity. He’s a fun, fun guy. He just modeled the life of Christ and I think that was his goal,” said Vannoy.

Cavanah was expected to give his first sermon late next month.

“His daily life was ministry. He didn’t need a pulpit in a church to do that. The community was his sheep if you will, and he a shepherd to them,” said Vannoy.

A vigil is scheduled to take place Tuesday night in the Wendy’s parking lot in memory of Cavanah.

“We want to honor Alex’s life and what he did on that day. We’ll also take time to recognize the other employees that were working during that shift,” said Vannoy.

As for the investigation, 20-year-old Markese Lampley has been charged in connection.

Kirk Reese of the Pennsylvania State Police says the suspects motorcycle was a major lead in the investigation. The FBI Office in Erie tipped off state police.

“The red and black motorcycle. When they heard it come over our radio, because we monitor each others emergency radio system, red and black motorcycle, he remembers it from one of his investigations. That, of course, is connected to a name,” said Kirk Reese, Captain, Pennsylvania State Police.

Reese further explained that arrest was possible due to the collaborative efforts made by the public and law enforcement.

“The time between the actual incident and our suspect being caught at the pursuit was less than seven hours. For a homicide that just occurred, that could never have been done without team work,” said Reese.

Lampley is currently in the Erie County Jail without bail.

The vigil for Alexander Cavanah will take place tomorrow, January 28th starting at 6 p.m.

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