A Nigerian man Identified as Bolanle Fadairo has been charged with two counts of murder and tampering with evidence in the Gulfton area of southwest Houston.
Bolanle, 38 was accused of shooting his friend, Michael Essien multiple times before making off in his SUV, leaving the victim’s two-year-old son to die of heat stroke in the back of the sweltering vehicle.
It was learnt that Essien, 38 got into an argument with Fadairo, outside a strip centre in the 5500 block of El Camino Del Rey and Chimney Rock on Tuesday, September 20, before being shot dead in front of his young son, with the gunman taking off in his victim’s SUV.
Investigators say Fadairo admitted that he had known Essien for about 30 years, and even used the victim’s home address to receive mail.
Daily Mail reports that Essien’s son, Micah, 2, who was in the back seat of the car when Fadairo stole the vehicle, was found unresponsive five hours later after being left in the sweltering heat, with officers pronouncing him dead at the scene as a result of heat exhaustion – with outside temperatures reaching 93F.
Fadairo was said to have deleted messages between himself and Essien before he was arrested, with officers confirming the pair had arranged to meet.
Footage obtained by ABC shows Fadairo putting his hands up and then on the hood of a cop car after he was surrounded by officers, as cops swooped on him just yards away from where the shooting took place at 4am on Wednesday morning.
According to the report, Essien’s wife reported that her husband and son were missing at around 6.40pm, hours after he was shot multiple times by Fadairo at 1:45pm in El Camino Del Rey.
The dad-of-three leaves behind his wife and two other children, including a baby girl who was born just a week ago.
Essien’s sister, Jessie, told ABC that her nephew had just learned how to say her name, describing her brother as a ‘peaceful man’.
She said: ‘All I want is my brother and my 2-year-old who just learned how to say “Auntie Jessie.”
“He called Auntie Jessie in the church Sunday. He ran and said, ‘Hi, Auntie Jessie’.
“Michael has a 5-year-old son and a 1-week-old baby, 1-week old. Michael has a wife. Lord Jesus, all I need is my brother.
“Anybody that knows my brother knows Michael is a peaceful man. Michael never argued with anyone.
“Michael takes the shirt off his body and gives to other people to put on. Michael would give the last dime he has to other people.”
Investigators believe that Fadairo met his victim at the agreed location, with the pair arguing before he shot his friend multiple times.
Essien fled a short distance, before collapsing in the parking lot as Fadairo stole his Chevrolet Traverse with Micha in the back and fled the scene.
A Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite said, “We never knew about the child until she called. Sadly, it was too late. The child had passed in the car.
“At this time, we don’t know why or how or what the cause of death will be. It could be something like heat exhaustion, we just don’t know.
“That will be determined later through autopsy. ‘It’s the hardest thing we do. Children are innocent.”