Drug sale gone wrong leads to fatal shooting in Pepper Pike, police say

Posted at 8:31 AM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 08:28:45-04

Police are investigating a suspected homicide that occurred in Pepper Pike.

Around 12:48 a.m. officers were called to the 28700 block of Fairmount Blvd for a report of a shooting. When police arrived, they found 24-year-old Isaiah Lampkins, of Solon, on the lawn.

Lampkins was taken to Hillcrest Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Neighbors who witnessed the shooting said it was unusual for a community that is relatively quiet. The last homicide in Pepper Pike was March 28, 1995. 

“This is a nice area, safe area, quiet area," said Jason Clayton, a Pepper Pike resident who heard a loud bang less than 100 feet from his front door.

He woke up to the sight of caution tape surrounding his neighbor's yard.

“I was jokingly saying it was probably a gunshot, but I was wondering if anything fell off the walls," Clayton said.

Just down the street, Maria Kantarovich received the news from her son that someone was fatally shot.

“Really now I am afraid. I don’t know what measure to take more," said Kantarovich.

Police recently warned her about a string of burglaries so she put an alarm system in her home, but now she feels like she is out of options.

“I don’t know what to do. To have a gun? I don’t know how to shoot," Kantarovich said.

The suspect, Matthew Stecher, who lives in Niles, was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter and trafficking of drugs.

Kevin Malone of Orange Village and Da'Jon Carouthers of Cleveland, were also arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and armed robbery for their involvement.

The arrested individuals, none of whom are residents of Pepper Pike, came into the city to allegedly sell and purchase drugs.

Malone and Carouthers met Lampkins in the yard of an unoccupied home to allegedly make a prearranged marijuana purchase from Stecher who they previously arranged to meet.

The purchase allegedly failed when the purchasers attempted to rob Stecher and a struggle ensued resulting in fatal shots fired at Lampkin.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting in the investigation.