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Arrest Made In Murder Of Bridgeport Barber Who Tried To Protect Customers

Mark Christian
Mark Christian Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department
Deon Rodney, a Bridgeport barber, was killed in a shooting earlier this month in the barbershop.
Deon Rodney, a Bridgeport barber, was killed in a shooting earlier this month in the barbershop. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

Updated: The suspect and the officers involved in the police pursuit were all treated and released from the hospital. Shots were fired, but no one was hit during the incident, Bridgeport police said.

Original story: BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A 32-year-old Bridgeport man apprehended after a police pursuit that stemmed from a domestic dispute was arrested on murder charges in the shooting death of a barber earlier this month, police said.

On Monday night, Mark Christian was apprehended at  Sage Avenue and Barnum Avenue by members of the Patrol Division after the pursuit, during which shots were fired, Bridgeport police Lt. Christopher LaMaine said. Ambulances were called for two officers and Christian, but police did not specify the injuries sustained.

Hours later, detectives arrested Christian and charged him in the Oct. 14 fatal shooting of Deon Rodney, LaMaine said.

Rodney, 31, was working as a barber at the Just Right Cutz barber shop at 500 Park Ave. when Christian and another man robbed a patron in the parking lot of the shop, police said.

Related story: Man Killed In Bridgeport Barbershop Shooting Died Trying To Stop Gunman

After the robbery, they attempted to attack the man again, police said.

When Rodney attempted to stop one of the attackers, who was armed with a handgun, the other one, identified as Mark Christian, shot and killed him, he said.

"The investigation will continue until the second perpetrator is apprehended," LaMaine said.

Christian is charged with murder, felony murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, carrying a pistol without a permit, criminal possession of a firearm, and reckless endangerment. He was held on $1 million bond.

"Great work by all officers and detectives that worked on this case, led by Detective Heanue," said a statement from Bridgeport police Lt. Christopher LaMaine.

Police are asking anyone with information on the second suspect in this case to call the Police Department's tip line, 203-576-TIPS (8477).

The arrest in the murder stemmed from an investigation into a domestic dispute, said city spokesman Av Harris. At 7:15 p.m. Monday, officers responded to 412 Summerfield Ave. on a report of a threatening incident, Harris said. At 8:25 p.m., officers returned when a caller said the suspect — later identified as Christian — was attempting to kick in her door, police said.

At 8:37 p.m., officers engaged in pursuit with Christian after following up at 42 Kent Ave., where the complainant said suspect might have headed, Harris said.

"During the pursuit, shots fired were called out by one of the pursuing officers and shortly thereafter, the suspect was detained," Harris said. Three ambulances were called to the scene — two for officers and one for the suspect, he said.

Police said the police officers and Christian were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital. No one was shot during the chase, according to Capt. Roderick Porter.

A GoFundMe campaign was set up to assist Rodney's family the funeral costs. Any funds remaining after the funeral costs will be placed into a trust fund for the 8-year-old daughter of Rodney, who was hailed as a hero for trying to protect his customers.

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