Atlanta police arrest man in killing of boxer; two more men sought

Atlanta police announced Thursday that tips from the public helped them arrest a young man in connection with the robbery and killing of former boxing champion O’Neil “Supernova” Bell and gain information on two other possible suspects.

Bell, a retired cruiserweight champ, and another man were shot after getting off a MARTA bus in southwest Atlanta on Nov. 25. Bell died at the scene, and the other victim was treated at the hospital.

“It was a crime of opportunity,” said Lt. Charles Hampton, commander of the homicide unit. “Unfortunately for these victims, (the robbers) saw an opportunity and took it.”

Detectives arrested Tycorion Davis, 18, in connection with the southwest Atlanta robbery and slaying.

Bell’s mother told Channel 2 Action News she was relieved an arrest had been made.

“He was the love of my life,” Norma Bell said. She added that her son told her daily that he loved her.

“I want to know what the young man was thinking about,” Bell said of the suspect. “Did he call his mom every day and say, ‘Mom, I love you?’ I would like for him to answer that question.”

Davis is also a suspect in robberies in Clayton County and East Point. A 16-year-old, Cortez Williams, was arrested Thursday by East Point police on charges of armed robbery in connection with those crimes.

Hampton credited CrimeStoppers tips from the public for helping solve the O’Neil case. Davis has been cooperating, Hampton said.

“He’s helped us out,” Hampton said of Davis. “He’s helped fill in some pieces.” Detectives now have strong leads for tracking down the two other suspects, the lieutenant said.

Bell, whose life began nearly 41 years ago on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, moved to Atlanta in 1995 and worked as an UPS driver before becoming a professional boxer three years later. He held the WBA, WBC and IBF cruiserweight boxing titles, amassing a record of 26 wins, three losses and one draw during a 13-year career that ended in 2011.

Initially fighting under the moniker “Give ‘Em Hell” Bell, he later changed his nickname to “Supernova.”

Just before Thanksgiving, Bell and another man had just gotten off a MARTA bus on Harbins Road shortly after midnight when a vehicle drove up with two men inside.

Responding officers found Bell dead in the street with a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

The other victim, who was not identified, was shot in the right hip and transported in stable condition to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to police.

Norma Bell told Channel 2 that she plans to take her son’s body back to Jamaica.

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