New details emerge in Bethlehem homicide investigation

New details emerge in Bethlehem homicide

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh County District Attorney now says the victim of a deadly shooting this weekend was targeted. 

It happened in a usually quiet section of West Bethlehem.  Victim Ian Juma was on the way to meet a friend's dad to speak about "something," according to Juma's father.

"He told me Ian had called him earlier in the day," said Tom Juma.  "He wanted to meet him; he had something to talk to him [about], and he didn't know what it was."

Juma was just 21 years old.  He played basketball at Liberty High School and was now attending Northampton Community College.

Juma helped run his family's home care business.   In fact, he spent his final hours taking care of elderly clients, according to his father. 

Around 10:20 p.m. Saturday, someone shot Juma to death near Rose Garden Park at Eighth Avenue and Union Blvd., a scenic and safe neighborhood.

"It's been a very hard, hard time for me," said Tom.  "At times, I don't believe, and other times I think my son is still there."

Tom Juma spoke to his son just 30 minutes before the killing.

"I asked him if he had finished what he was doing.  He told me, 'I finished everything,'" said Tom Juma.  "Then I was like, 'Okay, where are you?'  'I'm [at] Giant [grocery store].'  Then that was it."

After that, Tom Juma said his son headed to a friend's home at Eighth and Union.

"He was supposed to meet with his friend's father and when he went there, the friend's father was not in the house by then," said Tom.

What Ian Juma allegedly wanted to talk about is a mystery.

Monday, District Attorney Jim Martin said it appears Juma was targeted, but authorities won't say much else.

The younger Juma was charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana two years ago.  Police later dismissed the charge.  His dad doesn't think drugs were related to the killing.

"I don't think so because what happened that time -- that was a very minor issue," said Tom.  "Even the police told me, it is something very minor."

Ian Juma had a two year-old son.  Juma was born in Kenya.  After his funeral at the Salvation Army Church in Bethlehem on Saturday, he will be buried in his homeland.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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