Man pleads guilty to murder in Lynchburg Salvation Army shooting

Malik McDaniel, pleaded guilty to a killing at a Salvation Army in Lynchburg in June 2022. (Blue Ridge Regional Jail) (WSLS)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The suspect in a 2022 murder at a Salvation Army in Lynchburg pleaded guilty Wednesday, according to Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Brittany Harrison.

Malik McDaniel, 26, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.

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We’re told one charge of discharging a firearm in a public place was dismissed pursuant to Virginia law as the prosecution was required to select between that charge or the use of a firearm offense. According to Harrison, the prosecution elected to pursue the use of the firearm offense as it carries a mandatory minimum term of incarceration.

These charges stem from the murder of Estevez Cabell, 33, on June 28, 2022, at Salvation Army on Park Avenue in Lynchburg.

[READ MORE: Man in custody in connection to fatal shooting at Lynchburg’s Salvation Army, police say]

Harrison said evidence presented at Wednesday’s hearing established that McDaniel confronted Cabell in the parking lot at around 7 p.m. Cabell had arrived at Salvation Army to play basketball, but before he could exit his vehicle, McDaniel brandished a gun.

According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Cabell exited his vehicle, holding a basketball, cell phone, and air pump. We’re told the two briefly exchanged words before McDaniel shot Cabell, firing six shots, striking him in the chest and arms.

Cabell was found unresponsive, face-down by Lynchburg Police, Harrison said, and was transported to Lynchburg General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Harrison said McDaniel fled the scene in a vehicle, but police were quickly able to identify him and apprehended him the following day at a residence on Georgia Avenue.

Police seized a 9 mm handgun from the residence, which was later forensically matching the six shell casings found at the scene, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

According to Harrison, McDaniel will be formally sentenced on Jan. 10, 2024, and faces a statutory charge of punishment of 5 to 40 years on the murder charge and 3 years on the use of a firearm charge, a mandatory minimum sentence.

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