Murder suspect held on $5 million bond, victim’s family seeks answers in Delaware shooting

    A judge set Bryan Pemberton’s bond at $5 million on Friday. Pemberton is charged with the murder of Ali Alzirjawi, 28. (Courtesy: Delaware County Jail)

    DELAWARE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A judge set Bryan Pemberton’s bond at $5 million on Friday. Pemberton is charged with the murder of Ali Alzirjawi, 28.

    Prosecutors said Alzijarwi was hit in the face, neck, and torso with a shotgun blast Thursday night while in the car with his fiancé, Pemberton’s ex-wife, and their toddler.

    Family said Alzirjawi worked at the Columbus restaurant Lavish as a baker of bread. He was engaged to be married to Abby Scherler, and the couple had a one-year-old daughter together. Scherler and Pemberton had a 7-year-old daughter, who was at Pemberton’s home Thursday night when the shooting occurred.

    Mark Sleeper, Delaware County Assistant Prosecutor, said he doesn’t know what the 7-year-old girl saw.

    “I know she was there. And she was supposed to attend a school function and when she didn’t appear at the school function the teacher reached out to Ms. Scherler, which is what set things in motion,” said Sleeper.

    Sleeper said he was not aware of any issues between the victim and Pemberton.

    “At this point, my understanding is there was no conflict whatsoever, no indication a fight or an argument or anything was going to take place. He exited the residence and immediately took fire,” said Sleeper.

    “The things I am aware of now are prior record domestic violence in 2011 and aggravated menacing in 2014. Other than that, I am unaware of anything else at this time,” said Sleeper.

    Ali Alzirjawi’s brother Gabriel, a US Army veteran originally from Iraq, said the police came to tell them about the murder at 3 a.m. Friday at their home in Hilliard.

    “We came from another country to protect ourselves. We serve for the U.S. Military before because in my country it was dangerous. This is why we came here to save all our families, but I don’t know this situation was going to happen. I love this country. I feel it is my country. I get hurt when I used to serve , two bullets in my back. The US Army they give me life back. Nothing’s going to change for love of this country. But if I am mad, I am mad from this person, absolutely. Not all the people are the same. A lot of American people are nice with us, really nice, but I think he is sick,” said Gabriel.

    The judge said a mental health evaluation will be done.

    “He’s gonna go to jail of course. And we are going have to take care of his daughter,” said Gabriel.

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