Update: Police ID homeless found murdered downtown

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 2:09pm
Edward Matthews

Update: Police have identified the homeless man found shot to death Tuesday morning as Edward Matthews. Police say he has a lengthy criminal history, having been cited for 190 offenses over the last 20 years.

Metro Police continue to look for clues in the death of a 46-year-old homeless man found early this morning on a bench at Fifth Avenue and Church Street.

The man was apparently shot in the head, police spokesman Don Aaron said.

Central Precinct Officer Lloyd Sharp was conducting a routine off-duty tour of the area before his regular shift when he came across what appeared to be a man sleeping on a bench at 6:45 a.m. When he attempted to wake the individual, Sharp noticed blood and a gunshot wound, Aaron said.

Police have identified the man but have not released a name. According to Aaron the individual had been living downtown for a number of years. They are looking for next-of-kin.

“He is known to the police department, he has had numerous arrests for a variety of offenses over the years,” Aaron said.

Police have already found a witness who puts the man in the Lower Broadway area around Tootsie's between 9 and 10 p.m. Monday night. Metro officers have yet to find out what time the man moved to the intersection, but he does appear to have died on the bench, Aaron said.

Officers are currently interviewing other homeless individuals and reviewing the surveillance tapes from nearby businesses to further piece together the incident. Aaron also said he was not aware of any reports of shots or other incidents in the surrounding area last night.

“This is a very unusual situation,” Aaron added. “We're pursuing what leads we have in an effort to identify who did it.”