HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – Hoover Police said 17 year old Ahmad Johnson has been formally charged with one count of murder and nine counts of breaking and entering into vehicles.
According to Captain Gregg Rector, Johnson was arrested by Bessemer Police on January 7th, just two days after the murder of 33 year old Mike Gilotti.
“Bessemer PD is familiar with him as they are most of the individuals involved in our case. He was someone that Bessemer began looking for. It did not take them very long to find Ahmad. Ahmad was in a stolen car. There was other stolen items in that car and that was an obvious link. We already suspected him and when he was arrested by Bessemer PD it really put him squarely on our radar,” said Rector.
Gilotti was a husband, father, and Iraq War veteran.
Police said he was fatally shot the morning of January 5th when he walked out of his house to go the gym.
Captain Rector says the suspects involved in the murder of Gilotti are also linked to nine car break-ins the same morning in the Lake Cyrus neighborhood.
“Twenty-four hours before Mike Gilotti was killed the same group of individuals were committing the same type crime breaking into cars in another jurisdiction they were confronted by homeowner they shot at that homeowner four times and fortunately missed,” said Rector. “In that case we were just fortunate that, that homeowner was not injured or killed.”
Rector said that the defendants have ties to a Bessemer area gang called M-tre.
“I think I called them common street criminals at our last press conference and I think that’s still a very appropriate term to describe them, but new information we received does identify these individuals and several others affiliated with a group who calls themselves M-tre. M-tre stands for Money Making Mafia. It’s a group of young men who live in Bessemer, Alabama. Most of them are between 15 and 20 years old,” said Rector.
“I’m really hesitant to mention this because I feel somehow I’m going to give them some kind of street cred. They’re certainly not deserving of street cred or anything else, but it is what it is and that’s what they call themselves. They call themselves M-tre. They get on social media and take pictures of themselves with guns, with money, with drugs so they call themselves-if the police talk to these individuals and we ask them what M-tre is then they’re probably going to describe themselves as aspiring rappers. They are not aspiring rappers, they’re criminals,” Rector continued.
He went on to say, “They’re criminals who break into cars for a living. They’re criminals who steal cars. They’re criminals who are involved in drug business, and in this case they’re property thieves who when confronted by homeowner they take that to a whole new level and shoot and kill an innocent person.”
Johnson was initially being held in a juvenile detention facility following his arrest, but he has been charged as an adult and was set to be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail according to police.
Sixteen year old Charleston Wells who was also charged as an adult is also being held in the Jefferson County Jail.
Hoover Police anticipate further arrests in the Lake Cyrus investigation.
“What’s next is we’re full speed ahead. We’re working toward arrest number three and if there is an arrest number four then we’re working toward that. We’ll continue to focus our full efforts on working this case, processing evidence, talking to individuals until we’ve held every single person that was present when Mike Gilotti was shot and killed, they all have to be held accountable and we’re not going to stop until that’s accomplished,” said Rector.
The charges against 16 year old Charleston Wells have also been upgraded to included nine counts of breaking and entering into vehicles as well as murder. He was set for a bond hearing Thursday morning, but it was postponed until Monday.
His attorney Charles Salvagio says the case is moving forward quickly.
It’s a good thing for us in a lot of ways and that is, is that in Circuit Court we’re entitled to all the discovery and everything that they’ve got. And my client wants to get it over with to because he’s not guilty,” said Salvagio. “He’s a scared kid. I mean just is. He’s wanting to get a bond on this murder. Certainly I think he’s entitled to one by law and we’ll, we’ll see Monday. And the reason for the continuance is because the family couldn’t be here today, the victim’s family, and we certainly respect that.”
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