HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - A second teenager has been charged in the January murder of an Iraq War veteran shot to death outside of his Hoover home in the Lake Cyrus subdivision.
Ahmad Jaquan Johnson, 17, of Birmingham is being charged as an adult with murder in the death of 33-year-old Mike Gilotti, Hoover police said at a Thursday morning press conference about the case.
Gilotti, a married father of two, was fatally shot while leaving his house to go to the gym early in the morning on Jan. 5.
"He's not only shot and killed in front of his house, shot in the back and killed in front of his house," Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector said during the news conference.
"This is a guy who served his country, he fought for this country in Iraq for 15 months. He was a tank commander, he fought door to door in Iraq for our country and to see someone like him get gunned down for no apparent reason, absolutely it's personal to us," Rector added.
Nine vehicles in Gilotti's neighborhood were broken into around the same time of the shooting, leading police to believe that Gilotti's murder and the vehicle break-ins were connected.
Johnson was arrested on Jan. 7. He was also charged with nine counts of breaking and entering of vehicles around the same time as Gilotti's death.
Police said Johnson was in a stolen vehicle at the time of his arrest. The car also contained several stolen items.
He is currently in a juvenile facility, but will be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail. He will be held without bond.
Johnson's name came up early in the investigation, according to a news release from the Hoover Police Department.
"He was one of the names who came on our radar very early. Bessmer PD is familiar with him as they are with most of the individuals involved in our case. He was someone that Bessemer began looking for," Rector said.
Charleston Wells, 16, of Bessemer, was the first suspect charged as an adult with murder in Gilotti's death. Like Johnson, he also faces nine breaking and entering charges.
Rector said Wells, Johnson and others are members of M-Tre, a Bessemer-based group. He said M-Tre would describe themselves as rappers, but he described them as common street criminals.
U.S. Marshals arrested Wells in the Bessemer area on Jan. 13 and took him into custody without incident. He was charged with murder on Jan. 15.
A bond hearing for Wells is now scheduled for Monday, Feb. 8 after being continued on Thursday. Wells is being held at the Jefferson County Jail without bond.
Another young man, 19-year-old De'Ron Lucas, was arrested in connection to the Tuscaloosa County vehicle break-ins, but has not been charged in connection to Gilotti's murder.
Rector called the charges against Johnson the second step in the case.
The department expects more arrests and says charges from other police departments are likely.
"We still have a ways to go, there are other individuals involved in this crime," he said.
Rector said police believe up to four people may have been present when Gilotti was killed.
"There are still individuals in the Bessemer community who have information about this case who have not yet come forward. If you are one of those individuals then please do so today," Rector said in a news release on Thursday.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Sgt. Keith Czeskleba at 205-739-67-95 or the Hoover Police Department at 205-822-5300.