March 13, 1997 in Nation/World

Arrest Made In Murder Of Ennis Cosby Police Search For Accomplices In Killing Of Entertainer’s Son

Los Angeles Times
 

Police Wednesday arrested at least one man in connection with the murder of entertainer Bill Cosby’s 27-year-old son, who was gunned down nearly two months ago in what detectives now believe was a random act of violence, sources close to the investigation said.

Police delayed any announcement about the Ennis Cosby murder case Wednesday evening but scheduled a news conference for later in the night. The sources said the department’s decision to remain silent was made because officers were searching for other possible accomplices in the slaying. One source said police believe a gang of about four “Russian” robbers may have taken part in the crime.

It was not clear how investigators made a breakthrough in a case that many thought might go unsolved forever. In fact, most details of the arrest were sketchy late Wednesday.

One source, however, said somebody “who came forward” gave information to the police to settle a score with the suspect and his possible accomplices.

The one man arrested so far was described by police sources only as transient. Additional arrests were possible, the sources said.

A spokesman for the Cosby family said he had been in contact with police about “developments in the case” but declined to elaborate.

Ennis Cosby was shot once in the head Jan. 16 while trying to change a tire on his Mercedes Benz on a darkened side road above Bel-Air.

The death of the young Cosby stunned the nation and prompted a massive investigative effort by the Los Angeles Police Department to find the killer. Cosby’s famous father hired his own private investigator to assist in the hunt, while civic leaders and tabloid magazines offered some $300,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the gunman.

Also unclear is what role the principal witness in the case has played in helping to collar the suspect. The witness, a 47-year-old self-described writer, apparently was called by Ennis Cosby that night to assist him in changing his flat tire.

The woman told investigators that she was on the scene when a man with a pistol accosted her and Cosby. The woman told authorities she was frightened off and returned to to find Cosby’s body lying by his car in a pool of blood.

Using a description provided by the woman, police released a composite sketch of the suspect. At the time, the suspect was described as a white male of average height and weight between 25 and 32 years old. He was wearing a light-colored knit cap and was seen approaching Cosby on foot.

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