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Man slain at Chambersburg tavern

March 02, 1999

Timothy RossBy DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg




CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The last thing Drake Luckett did before he was fatally shot Monday night was to push his fiancee out of the line of fire, Tami Lidie said Tuesday.

"I kept trying to hold him back. He pushed me out of the way and took the bullet," said Lidie, 29, of 217 Linden Ave. in Chambersburg.

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Luckett, 34, of the same address, died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Chambersburg police on Tuesday morning arrested Timothy J. Ross, 25, of 280 Miller St.

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Luckett and Ross did not know each other, Lidie said.

Ross was arraigned before District Justice Gary L. Carter on a charge of criminal homicide and was being held in Franklin County Prison.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the shooting was reported at 10:42 p.m. at Dave's Tavern, 401 S. Main St. When officers arrived, they found Luckett lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the chest and another to his left hand.

Franklin County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said Luckett was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. at Chambersburg Hospital. An autopsy was performed at the hospital Tuesday.

The affidavit said several witnesses in the bar identified the man who shot Luckett.

The report said Ross was seen inside the bar with a handgun in the waistband of his pants.

After getting into an argument with Luckett, Ross left by the Catherine Street door of the bar. Luckett opened the door moments later and several shots were fired from outside.

The affidavit said police learned Ross could be found at Lot 7 of Carson's Mobile Home Park, 649 N. Franklin St. Police were waiting nearby when a blue Mercury Cougar pulled up and then left.

The car was pulled over at 4:10 a.m. on North Franklin Street near the West King Street intersection and Ross was identified as the driver. Police said he was taken into custody without incident.

"I ain't shoot nobody," the affidavit said Ross told police. "I don't even own a gun," he said while being returned to a holding cell at police headquarters.

Lidie said she and her two children have been living in Chambersburg for a month. Luckett, who had lived in Hagerstown, Md., moved in with her about a week ago.

"He was supposed to start today at a factory," she said. She and Luckett, with whom she had lived for more than two years in Hagerstown, had gone to Dave's Monday night to celebrate his finding a job.

Lidie said Luckett was born in Washington, D.C., and his family lives in Frederick, Md.

According to Lidie, Luckett opened the door, shoved her aside and she heard four shots. He walked toward the bar "and I saw him stumble a bit" and fall, she said.

"By the time I got through the people, he was lying on the floor gasping for breath," she said.

Detective Sgt. Dianne Kelso said Tuesday afternoon that police had not recovered a weapon.

Ross had been charged with delivery of crack cocaine on Jan. 27 during a roundup of suspected street-level drug dealers, according to police records. Kelso said he was out on bail when the shooting occurred.

In 1993, Ross was sentenced to two to five years in state prison after pleading guilty to robbery. On June 23, 1992, he and another man had stolen a Chevy Blazer from a man who had stopped at a borough convenience store for coffee, court records said.

A preliminary hearing for Ross is scheduled for March 8 at 9 a.m. in Carter's office.

Rev. W. Larry Johnson, pastor of the St. James A.M.E. Church said he will call a meeting for Thursday to try and close Dave's Tavern.

"Call it a take-back meeting. We're going to take back our community," he said Tuesday. A time and place had not been set, but Johnson, who is also a borough councilman, said he is inviting police, borough officials and members of the community.

Johnson said there have been other crimes and shootings in that area.

Last month, Bryant Jefferson of Harrisburg, Pa., was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the Oct. 6, 1997, shooting of 22-year-old Charles Green just around the corner from Dave's Tavern.

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