Lowell Police Hunt Armed Robbery Suspect

LOWELL — A man accused of trying to rob a woman at gunpoint as she walked down Church Street early Friday morning was chased by police moments after the crime happened.

An incident report from Lowell police says they received a call just before 4:20 a.m. from the victim who claimed a man — later identified as Jamel De Andre Weaver, 22, of Lowell — came up behind her and stopped what she would later see was a gun in the back. After a failed attempt to take her phone, the victim said the man ran away.

Responding officers found the victim “curled up in the fetal position, crying on the sidewalk.” Police said she was initially unable to speak and at one point “passed out from her panic.”

She eventually told police she was walking out onto Church Street when the man walked up behind her and jabbed an object firmly into her back. The suspect then demanded her cell phone, while instructing her not to look at his face. Despite the threat, the victim told police she tried to run away from the man twice, but both times he caught up with her.

The woman claimed the suspect took the phone from her hands, but she was able to yank it right back. She told police she then realized her attacker was holding a gun and began “repeatedly screaming very loudly.” The suspect took off, ran onto Andover Street and then turned left onto High Street.

Minutes after the robbery call came over the emergency radio broadcast, an officer reported seeing a man matching the suspect’s description in the 20 block of Ash Street. The officer could be heard during the broadcast yelling at the suspect, “Hey, come here!” However, the suspect did not surrender.

A foot chase ensued, according to police, when the suspect fled from officers by jumping fences and running through backyards.

Within minutes, officers caught up with the man in the area of ​​198 High St. Due to the potential presence of a gun in the suspect’s possession, an officer drew his firearm and pointed it at the man, ordering him to the ground. This time the suspect complied.

No weapons were found on Weaver’s person, but police discovered in his possession a used latex glove, two crumpled $1 bills and two used 9mm shell casings, according to the report. Police added that Weaver had “bloodshot eyes” and had “an odor of alcoholic beverages coming from him.”

Weaver claimed he was in the area visiting a friend on Jewett Street, police said.

A bag matching the one the victim told police the suspect was carrying was found by police hanging from a fence Weaver had jumped over on Ash Street.

Inside the bag, police said they found a 9 mm firearm with one round in the chamber. The weapon was loaded with a 17-round magazine containing 16 cartridges. Six loose 9mm rounds were also found in the bag. According to police, the spent casings found on Weaver’s person match the rounds found in the bag.

The sling bag also contained a Mercedes hood ornament and a card with a woman’s name on it. Police said they also found $21 in various denominations, including some bills that appeared to be stained with blood.

Police requested that the state police crime lab conduct a DNA test on the blood, as well as check the firearm, magazine and all ammunition for fingerprints.

The victim positively identified Weaver as the man who had robbed her, according to police. The victim sought medical attention and told police that Weaver had inserted the firearm so forcefully into her back that it caused “great physical pain.” She also complained of “severe PTSD.”

Weaver was arraigned by Judge John Coffey on Friday in Lowell District Court on charges of armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, carrying a firearm without a license, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, theft of property under $250, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a large capacity weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm during a felony.

Weaver was held without bail pending a 58A dangerousness hearing that will take place on Thursday. The hearing will be used to determine whether Weaver poses a threat to the public, and if so, whether he should remain behind bars as his case progresses in court.

According to the police report, Weaver has a prior firearms conviction and is on probation for the crime.

Follow Aaron Curtis on X, formerly known as Twitter, @aselahcurtis

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