The Ohio Highway Patrol yesterday named a western Pennsylvania man as "a person of interest" in its investigation into a fatal shooting earlier this month on the Ohio Turnpike near Cleveland.
Damian R. Bradford, 23, of Monaca, Pa., was arrested Friday evening by Pennsylvania State Police and Ohio Highway Patrol troopers at his home in Beaver County, about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
Bradford was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and probation violation after troopers executed a search warrant at his apartment, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania State Police.
Sgt. Stephanie Norman, a spokesman for the Ohio Highway Patrol, said Bradford became a target of the shooting investigation after troopers interviewed 50 people who have called in with information about the crime.
Dr. Gulam Moonda, 65, of Hermitage, Pa., was shot once in the head May 13 after being robbed on the berm of the Ohio Turnpike's westbound lanes in North Royalton.
Sergeant Norman said Ohio authorities have not filed any charges against Bradford.
"The investigators are obviously still investigating. Whether it continues to go in his direction, I don't know," she said.
According to the patrol, Dr. Moonda was a passenger in a gold 2000 Jaguar being driven by his wife, Donna Moonda, 46, who pulled over to change drivers. Mrs. Moonda's mother, Dorothy Smouse, 74, also was a passenger in the car. Neither woman was harmed, and investigators are puzzled by the fact that the gunman shot Dr. Moonda but left the two witnesses alone.
"Obviously, this is something we're looking at as to one of the possible motives, trying to figure out why somebody would do that," Sergeant Norman said. "It's not something that we have an answer to yet."
Witnesses told troopers a dark-colored van pulled in behind the Moondas' car and that a short, thin man wearing dark clothes got out and confronted Dr. Moonda, who was a urologist at the Sharon Regional Health System in Sharon, Pa. At the time he was slain, Dr. Moonda was traveling to Toledo.
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