Alleged killer launched Trenton bar fight before Eric Rue homicide

Hours after bouncers removed Mycol Beckett from a city bar for violent behavior, he armed himself with a handgun and murdered Eric Rue, an innocent victim who had regularly patronized the establishment, authorities allege in court documents.

Mycol Beckett (left) is accused of killing Eric Rue (right)

Mycol Beckett (left) is accused of killing Eric Rue (right)

Beckett, 29, entered Championship Bar and Music on the 900 block of Chambers Street during the early morning hours of Sept. 1. He got into a physical altercation with another male at the bar about 12:30 a.m., prompting bouncers to kick Beckett out.

About six hours after the bar fight, surveillance footage shows Beckett getting dropped off near the intersection of Chambers Street and Morris Avenue from a dark-colored Mazda sedan. Beckett then walks to the front passenger door of a vehicle occupied by Rue, leaning with his right hand on the door frame of the front passenger door, according to court documents.

Beckett then appears to engage the victim in a conversation for approximately 60 seconds before shooting the victim through the front passenger’s window, which was partially opened, Detective Scott Rich of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force alleges in an affidavit of probable cause. 

After slaying the victim in cold blood, surveillance footage shows Beckett running on foot to a dark gray Volvo sedan parked on the opposite side of Morris Avenue. Beckett then immediately drives the Volvo sedan away on Morris Avenue toward Bert Avenue at a high rate of speed in the vehicle that had dark-tinted windows, according to the allegations in the affidavit.

Rue, 34, was found about 8 a.m. Sept. 1 sitting in the driver’s seat of a silver 2018 Kia Forte sedan in the area of Commonwealth and Morris avenues in Trenton’s East Ward suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to Saint Francis Medical Center for treatment, where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter, court documents state.

Rue was a regular patron of Championship Bar and would often sleep inside his vehicle until the next day after patronizing any bar, according to the affidavit of probable cause, which attributes that information to the victim’s family.

Beckett and Rue had both apparently patronized Championship Bar during the early morning hours of Sept. 1. While Beckett is accused of getting into a bar fight six hours before the homicide, court documents do not identify the black male whom Beckett had a physical altercation with. Rue was a black male, but he may not have been the individual involved in the 12:30 a.m. altercation.

Through reviewing surveillance video and interviewing witnesses, police were able to identify Beckett as the alleged killer.

As a result of the investigation, warrants were issued Sept. 3 for Beckett’s arrest, charging him with murder and related weapons offenses. He was apprehended Sept. 6 during a motor vehicle stop by Trenton Police, authorities said.

Beckett was arrested at least twice last year. He was charged with attempted murder in connection with a July 27, 2017, shooting that happened in the 100 block of Fairway Drive. A 17-year-old male suffered gunshot wounds to both of his legs that morning and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. The victim told police he was in the area dropping someone off when he was shot. Twenty-three-year-old Edgar Williams was also charged in connection with that shooting.

Beckett was also arrested in June last year for alleged drug distribution in the first block of Summer Street.

Rue’s Facebook profile says he was employed as an Automated Logistical Specialist in the United States Army.

Beckett is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing regarding the murder charges.

Trentonian staff writer Penny Ray contributed to this report.

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