Originally created 02/20/01

Warrant issued in drive-by shooting

FLINT, Mich. -- A warrant has been issued charging one suspect in the fatal drive-by shooting of Herbert Cleaves, the brother of Detroit Pistons rookie Mateen Cleaves, the Genesee County prosecutor said Monday.

No one was in custody by Monday afternoon, but prosecutor Arthur Busch said he expected the suspect to turn himself in. He would be charged with four counts, including murder and conspiracy to commit murder, Busch said.

A second suspect was being sought, he said.

Police said two vehicles passed a Flint home about 2 a.m. Sunday and opened fire, shooting Herbert Cleaves, 27, in the abdomen. He was taken to Hurley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Busch said the assailants apparently had "some sort of grudge" with a companion of Cleaves.

"I'm not sure that Cleaves even knew about it," Busch said. "He just happened to be with the wrong person at the wrong time."

Mateen Cleaves missed practice with the Pistons to be with his family and was not expected to play in a home game Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Cleaves family issued a written statement Monday through the Pistons requesting privacy during their time of grief.

"Mateen will address the media upon his return to the Pistons, which at this time is uncertain," the statement said.

Herbert Cleaves was among seven children, five boys and two girls, in the Cleaves family.

"He was a great athlete," said the boy's father, also named Herbert Cleaves. "He loved children, especially his nieces and nephews, and he was well liked by everybody."

Herbert Cleaves did not achieve the success of his younger brother, Mateen, who helped Michigan State win the 2000 NCAA championship. But he excelled in football for Flint Northern High School.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.


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