One of the gunmen who died in yesterday's murder spree in Virginia was already running from the law -- a Jamaica-born illegal alien and suspect in numerous crimes who worked as a migrant fruit picker in the orchards of western New York State and central Pennsylvania.
Law enforcement authorities said their search for Denziel Nathaniel Malcolm, 33, who was wanted on several arrest warrants for theft and burglary in Harrisburg, Pa., had intensified last Saturday after Malcolm allegedly shot and killed a Harrisburg woman in a domestic quarrel at her home.
With Malcolm's death yesterday, Harrisburg police consider that homicide case closed, said Joe Sweeney, an aide to Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed.
Few details were immediately available about Malcolm's accomplice in Virginia, a 23-year-old Haitian native identified as Willie (Jimmy) Anderson who lived, without a fixed address, in the Gettysburg-Harrisburg area.
Malcolm, described by Harrisburg police as a transient, apparently was employed as a migrant laborer, one of hundreds of workers who follow the seasonal fruit harvest southward from western New York through central Pennsylvania and into Virginia.
Sweeney said Malcolm arrived last Saturday at the Harrisburg home of Anna G. Jones, 28, and was angered when he discovered her with another man, Gerald Jackson, 18. Sweeney said Malcolm threw a brick through Jones' front window, then burst through the door wielding a .357 magnum revolver.
Jones and Jackson fled into the back yard where Malcolm shot Jones in the base of the skull, killing her instantly, Sweeney said. He said Jackson escaped after hiding under a truck. A baby sitter and four of Jones' five children were at home at the time of the attack.
Federal authorities said Malcolm had been deported once from the United States, but reentered the country illegally on a boat in Miami on Oct. 1, 1982. He was later arrested in western New York as an illegal alien, but did not appear at a court hearing.
Malcolm was arrested again by Harrisburg police on Feb. 12, 1984, on a federal warrant for failing to appear at the New York hearing. He was held by U.S. marshals at the federal prison at Lewisburg, Pa., until his trial in March of that year, said Joel Wetherington, U.S. marshal for the central district of Pennsylvania.
On March 30, 1984, Malcolm was convicted and given a suspended six-month prison term and one year of supervised probation. Richard Cravener, director of criminal investigations with the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Philadelphia, said deportation proceedings against Malcolm began immediately.
Malcolm, who was free pending the outcome of those proceedings, was scheduled to appear on Jan. 27 for a deportation hearing in Philadelphia, Cravener said yesterday.