Suspect Johnnl Lewis was arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of a McDonald's employee. Photo courtesy of the Akron Police Department.
AKRON -- Akron police have a man in custody for the murder of a McDonald's employee.
Police say 21-year-old Johnnl Lewis confessed to shooting and killing John Lehman earlier this month.
John Lehman, a developmentally disabled 28-year-old employee, was shot and killed taking out the trash at the West Market Street fast food joint.
Police say Lewis was attempting to rob the McDonalds through the back entrance when Lehman confronted him.
Lehman was shot several times and later died at Akron General Medical Center.
Those closest to John Lehman will remember him as a man who loved rock and roll, his guitar and his independence.
"That's how I want to remember him. I want to remember him with a big grin on his face," said James Lehman, the victim's uncle.
John had worked hard at the McDonalds for 10 years.
"To kill somebody outside of McDonalds in an attempted robbery, there's no amount of money that is worth that," said James.
"Our detectives followed up on several tips, combined those tips and came up with our suspect," said Lt. Rick Edwards with the Akron Police Department.
Authorities were offering a reward up to $10,000 for anybody with information leading to the identification or arrest of those responsible.
Police say they brought Lewis in for questioning Tuesday and he confessed to Lehman's murder.
"This person who shot him, I mean, I'm so happy that he's off the streets and can't hurt anyone else," said Terry Zimmerman, the victim's one-time foster father.
James and Zimmerman say they're grateful for the tips that led to Lewis' arrest. And as always, they're proud of John.
"Despite all of the setbacks in his life, he was a very happy and well adjusted person," said James Lehman. "To find out that he died, basically trying to protect the people inside of McDonalds is very admirable and we really couldn't be any more proud of him."
Lt. Edwards says it will be Summit County Crime Stoppers and the other groups who pledged money to decide who is worthy of the reward.
Lewis is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at 9 a.m. in Akron Municipal Court on murder and aggravated robbery charges.
Police have requested the judge keep him behind bars without bond.
Court records show Lewis was out on bond during the time of the murder, awaiting trial for a September 2012 charge of felonious assault.