Police say Shaun Hamblen’s abduction ‘not a random incident’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say the killing of a man abducted from an East Memphis parking lot was no random act.

Memphis Police on Friday night positively identified a body found in a home in the Cherokee area Thursday as 23-year-old Shaun Hamblen, who'd been reported missing ever since he was last seen getting into a Ford Focus in the parking lot of LA Fitness at Poplar and Perkins.

Two men are charged in connection with his death, but police said the meeting between the suspects and victim in the parking lot was prearranged.

"This was not a random incident. Shaun Hamblen was the targeted victim," police posted on their Facebook page.

The man charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of Shaun Hamblen faced a judge Friday.

Alfonso Amos — along with the other man connected to the crime, Deeric Walton — both have a criminal past.

Walton just got out of prison this year after serving four years, and according to a woman WREG talked to Friday, and police said both men have been committing crimes since they were teenagers.

Amos was charged three years ago with breaking into a woman's Fox Meadows home, where he left DNA evidence. Police were able to go straight to Amos because while trying to get away, he cut himself climbing out of the woman's window.

For that woman, the reason Hamblen was killed is clear.

"It's all about robbery — burglary — that's what it’s about," she said. "That young man is dead because they wanted something he had just like they wanted something in here."

The 21-year-old Amos has been charged with robbery and murder, but 22-year-old  Walton is only facing weapon and drug charges, all while Hamblen's family is left to grieve.

"We all miss him very much," Michelle Simpson, Hamblen's mother, said.

Walton was released from prison this year after being behind bars for four years in relation to a dice game that ended in robbery. While there are many revelations coming out about the two men as time goes on, Hamblen's family is trying their best to focus on the support.

"We are very overwhelmed at this outpouring of love," Simpson said. "I've never experienced nothing like this."

Police said Hamblen knew Amos. They did not say how they knew each other, but that could be why Hamblen didn't hesitate to get in the car with him.

There was a $16,000 reward being offered for information regarding Hamblen’s whereabouts, and investigators said that information did help them to get leads that ultimately brought the family answers.