Police searching for 18-year-old Malden man accused in fatal shooting

An arrest warrant has been issued for Yahia Mastouri, who was last seen on Saturday night.

A Registry of Motor Vehicles photo of Yahia Mastouri (left) and Mastouri as seen in a recent photo.
A Registry of Motor Vehicles photo of Yahia Mastouri (left) and Mastouri as seen in a recent photo. –Middlesex County District Attorney

Authorities are searching for an 18-year-old Malden man who they say fatally shot Jeury Batista, 23, during an alleged drug deal inside an apartment complex there Saturday evening.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Yahia Mastouri on multiple charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office announced in a joint statement with Malden police Tuesday.

Officials are now calling for the public’s help in finding Mastouri, who was described as approximately 5 feet, 11 inches tall. He was last seen in Malden the night of the shooting, according to the statement.

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Authorities say Malden police responded to a report of a shooting at the Bowdoin Apartments on Bowdoin Street around 6:18 p.m. Saturday, where they found that Batista, of Salem, was the victim.

He was brought to MelroseWakefield Hospital where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

“The preliminary investigation suggests that the shooting occurred as part of a suspected drug transaction and is not believed to be a random incident of violence,” officials said in the statement.

Mastouri is also wanted on charges of assault with intent to rob and unlawful possession of a firearm, authorities said.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call Massachusetts State Police at 508-820-2121 or Malden police at 781-322-1212. Tips can also be submitted anonymously at www.maldenpd.com.

Authorities advise that anyone who sees Mastouri should not attempt to approach him.