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CLE father killed after game of pool, family urges witnesses to come forward with shooter's identity

Posted at 5:52 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 22:10:17-04

A man was forced to beg for his life after a game of pool at Mandy's Lounge turned violent on March 3 - and eventually deadly.

Twenty four-year-old Nicholas Russell was having fun playing pool with his cousin, Robert Fairbanks, at the neighborhood bar on Pearl Road in Cleveland when a man walked up to the pair and asked if he could join them.

There was a disagreement, and a bouncer told them to go outside.

Fairbanks said that's when things turned for the worse. The stranger pointed a gun at Russell, who put his hands up and begged for his life.

But the man shot Russell in the chest at point blank range.

Then, he slammed Fairbanks in the head with the gun, knocking him out, and took off.

“I can’t tell you who this guy was. I can’t see him. I can’t remember him, but there were people there,” Fairbanks said.

Russell, a factory worker and father of two small children, died at Metro Health eight days after being shot.

“He was a good father and family person, his kids loved him. He was funny. He was a gentle giant,” said Russell's mom Janette Perry.

Perry has a message for her son's killer.

“You took my child from me. I don’t know how you can go to sleep at night knowing that you took somebody’s life. You just didn’t take him from me, you took him from his kids,” Perry said.

Because Mandy’s Lounge is a neighborhood bar, Russell’s family believes someone there that night recognized the man at the pool table.

“Please call, leave a tip, you don’t have to leave a name. Give police somewhere to go to find who did this. I know they know, there were witnesses there,” Perry said.

“You can be anonymous. You don’t have to go and live your life with this burden on you. Tell the truth, give my cousin peace, please,” Fairbanks said.

Cleveland police said on Thursday that they still don’t have any suspects in this shooting

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 216-252-7463. A reward will be granted for information leading to an arrest.