Monroe police search for armed and dangerous murder suspect

MONROE, N.C. — The Monroe Police Department has issued a first-degree murder warrant Tuesday for Billy Rashawn Barrino, 24, who is accused of shooting and killing Jaleel Takeem Nivens on Saturday afternoon.

Officers were called to Boyte Street just before 5 p.m. in downtown Monroe.

Police said Nivens was shot several times before he was taken to the hospital where he died.

Investigators said several people witnessed the shooting, but so far no one has come forward.

Nivens’ family said they’re focused on healing and remembering the man they describe as funny and intelligent.

“We considered him a brother, because he was always around,” his cousin, Rotavis Ashcraft said. “Always from the time I was born, Jaleel was there.”

Ashcraft said Nivens leaves behind a son.

“He loved his son, JJ,” Ashcraft said. “He loved to laugh and joke, and he also had his game he like to play.”

Ashcraft said he is waiting for justice to be served.

“God would want me to forgive you, but God has a lot more patience than I do,” Ashcraft said.

Barrino is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds.

He is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to call the Monroe Police Department at 704-282-4700 or Union County Crime Stoppers at 704-283-5600.

Police said a $5,000 cash reward could potentially be offered.

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