Man charged with murder in Emerald Hills killings in custody


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 23-year-old suspected gang member accused in a pair of fatal shootings that occurred more than four years apart in Emerald Hills was in custody Monday.

Tahjee Ector, a Riverside County resident, is accused in the May 1, 2016, shooting of 46-year-old Kevin Spelmon at Emerald Hills Park and the May 31, 2020, shooting of 28-year-old Arif Abdalla in the 5200 block of Lenox Drive.

Ector is charged with murder in both killings, as well as attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and other charges, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.

Ector’s co-defendant, 21-year-old Kenneth Earl Brooks, pleaded not guilty last week to taking part in Abdalla’s killing, as well as the May 8 slaying of Tamara Shellum, who was found shot dead in a parked car on Bethune Court, alongside Emerald Hills Park.

Brooks was arrested last month by San Diego police and remains held without bail.

Ector was arrested at around 5:45 a.m. Saturday by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Fugitive Apprehension Team, according to San Diego Police Department Lt. Andra Brown.

Police and prosecutors have not disclosed a suspected motive for Spelmon or Shellum’s killings, but the complaint alleges that Ector, Brooks and others took part in a plan to “locate and shoot and kill rival gang members” over the course of several days last year, which resulted in Abdalla’s slaying.

Abdalla and another man were shot, and Abdalla died of his injuries about a week later.

Gang-related allegations are also attached to each murder count the men face.

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