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Courts Cops say murder victim asked to die

October 9, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — Despondent over the murder of his best friend, police said 18-year-old Jeri Kollock confronted people he believed were responsible for his friend’s death and dared them to kill him.

Kollock was later found naked, except for a towel covering his waist, in the stairwell of a nearby housing project, shot multiple times in the head, torso and extremities.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Jahmari “Wack” Cooper, 18, a suspect in another homicide in New York, was arraigned in a closed courtroom for murder, felony murder and first-degree robbery in Kollock’s death.

He was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bond by Superior Court Judge Tracy Lee Dayton.

Eric Diaz, 19, was shot to death on Sept. 14, 2017, at the corner of Beardsley Street and Newfield Avenue. Lonnie Mebane, 53, of Masarik Avenue in Stratford, is awaiting trial for murder in the case.

In court documents released following Cooper’s arraignment, police said on Oct. 11, 2017, Kollock had approached a group of people in the parking lot of Columbus School. Witnesses said Kollock was having difficulty dealing with Diaz’s death and yelled at the people, “What are you all about to jump me?”

Police said the witnesses told them Kollock told the people he confronted in the parking lot that he wanted to die and wanted them to shoot him in the head so he could be with his friend.

While others in the group didn’t appear interested in Kollock’s offer, police said Cooper did, walking off with Kollock to the Greene Homes housing project. Police said surveillance video from the school showed the two walking away together.

Police confronted Cooper 15 days after Kollock’s body was discovered. They said he admitted meeting Kollock in the school parking lot.

“Cooper stated he recognized Kollock from the East End and walked up to him to see if he (had) a gun on him by checking his pockets. Cooper stated he did this because people from the East End ‘beef’ with people from the Greene Homes,” court documents state.

Police said Cooper admitted going with Kollock to the housing project but said they then parted ways.

Police let Cooper go but later seized a .45-caliber handgun from his home on Iranistan Avenue that matched bullet casing found at the crime scene. But by that time Cooper had fled the state.

Cooper was later arrested by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force in Riviera Beach, Fla.

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