A Milwaukee man linked to a criminal street gang has been charged in the shooting death of barber Dominic Carter, 35.
Carter was shot and killed Sept. 9 just down the block from the barbershop he owned, HairTrappers Suite, at 5416 N. Lovers Lane Road, on Milwaukee’s northwest side.
He had been standing inside a Domino’s Pizza, where he frequently bought food for kids who helped clean his parking lot and participated in mentorship programs he ran out of the business.
“That was something he did all the time,” Carter’s mother, Cecelia Jordan, said.
Prosecutors charged 22-year-old Joel L. Blake with three felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide.
The criminal complaint filed in the case details how the shooter had been lying in wait outside Carter’s business, circling the parking lot in a vehicle. After Carter was seen walking from his barbershop into the restaurant, the suspect was seen walking into the restaurant and firing at Carter five times.
Blake had been jailed in an unrelated case until this summer, online court records show. After two felony charges of armed robbery were dropped — leaving behind one count each of fleeing police, driving a vehicle without consent and possession of a firearm by a felon — a judge lowered his bail from $25,000 to $5,000. He posted bail July 22.
The complaint connects Blake with a criminal street gang known as the Wild 100s but does not include details on a possible motive.
Blake is in custody in Texas, according to a report from WISN-TV.
'Being in the shop saved me from the streets'
Jordan said Carter was a father of eight children who was eager to show kids, particularly Black males, how to make a living through entrepreneurship.
“Not everybody is meant to go to college, so he wanted to give kids another alternative,” Jordan said. “You can be a barber, you can open your own business and stuff like that.”
Carter initially pursued a career as a minister, but after realizing it wasn’t the best fit, he leaned on his skills as a barber. He learned how to cut hair at the age of 12 and consulted his grandfather, who started his own cleaning business, on how to open his own barbershop.
Carter intended to pass down that knowledge after opening HairTrappers Suite, his second barbershop, about a year ago, Jordan said. There, he ran a mentorship and entrepreneurship program aimed at boys between the ages of 8 and 16.
In a commercial for the business, Carter said the goal of the program was to instruct kids on how to navigate the cosmetology industry and one day open a shop of their own.
“Cosmetology, barbering, being in the shop saved me from the streets,” he said in the video. He described ideal mentor subjects as “people who look at the salon as a rescue place.”
“He was a good person, he didn’t bother nobody,” Jordan said. “He just lived life, just trying to be a positive force in life.”
Suspect tied to criminal street gang
After the shooting, a witness told police they noticed a suspicious vehicle circling the parking lot near the Domino’s and Carter’s barbershop, according to the criminal complaint. Police obtained a description of the car and suspect from the witness and surveillance camera footage.
About seven hours after the shooting, the same vehicle was found on fire two miles away in the 6600 block of North 107th Street on Milwaukee’s northwest side. It’s an area frequented by members of the Wild 100s gang and Blake is a known associate, the complaint said.
Later, a confidential informant told a federal agent they spoke to two people who said Blake was the shooter. They also told the informant they accompanied him to buy gasoline to set the car ablaze, the complaint said.
Police obtained surveillance footage from the gas station and determined Blake’s face, complexion and body shape matched that of the shooting suspect.
He also wore a distinct glove that was gray with a green palm and a mark of some kind on the top of the glove. It matched a glove worn by the suspect, the complaint said.
Police then began monitoring Blake’s Facebook page. On Sept. 20, he posted a video in which he discussed being shot at, possibly in retaliation for Carter’s death.
“Yeah, I did it to him,” Blake said in the video, according to the complaint.
Blake had also published his phone number in past social media posts. After obtaining a search warrant for cell tower data, police determined Blake’s cell phone was in the area of the Domino’s less than two minutes before the shooting.
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Source : https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2021/10/14/charges-filed-death-milwaukee-barber-dominic-carter-who-ran-mentorship-program/8435945002/1074