Bail denied for suspect in West Fourth Street shooting

PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette City police agents brought Markeese Askew to be arraigned Saturday morning on charges stemming from his alleged involvement last week in a shooting in the 700 block of West Fourth Street.

A judge denied bail Saturday for 25-year-old Markeese Askew after the Philadelphia man was arraigned on felony and misdemeanor firearm charges for his alleged involvement in a shooting early Tuesday morning, city police said.

Askew was allegedly involved in an exchange of gunfire with two other gunmen in the 700 block of West Fourth Street about 12:30 a.m., said Agent Damon Hagan.

Security video reviewed by investigators shows Askew, whom they recognized, walking out of an establishment and “removing a black pistol from the right pocket of his hooded sweatshirt and pointing the firearm across the street,” Hagan said in an affidavit.

“Askew is seen running down the sidewalk to the east while holding the firearm up and firing it in the direction of two other shooters,” Hagan said.

“Bullet strikes on both sides of the street reveal Askew was shooting in the direction of a person or persons across the street, and that they (in turn) were shooting” in his direction, Hagan said.

Following the gunshots, everyone scattered, police said. No one was injured.

More than 10 shots were fired, Hagan said.

A warrant was issued for Askew late Friday afternoon and he was taken into custody in an apartment in the area of the 700 block of West Edwin Street early Saturday morning.

Hagan said investigators determined that Askew was “wanted by the FBI on charges of distributing heroin,” a warrant filed in mid-September.

Charged with carrying a firearm without a license and illegal possession of a firearm, Askew was ordered by District Judge William Solomon to go directly to the Lycoming County Prison.

“I believe you are a threat to the community. This is not the OK Corral,” Solomon said.

Police have not commented on whether this shooting was at all related to a second one that occurred the following night about 6 p.m. when gunfire erupted at Catherine and Sheridan streets.

Police said it appeared that there was an exchange of gunfire, like the shooting the night before. No one was injured. Police impounded a motorcycle.