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Musical Mentor “DJ Mo” Killed in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE — His name was Michael Onley, but everyone knew him as “DJ Mo”, a local legend for his love of music, people, and Wilkes-Barre.

Newswatch 16 met him in 2012 when he organized an anti-violence march from Kirby Park to Public Square, following the deaths of his own brother and Trayvon Martin

But in the early morning hours on Sunday DJ Mo became a victim of the violence he rallied against.

After leaving the Outsiders bar on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre early Sunday morning, he was shot in the head and killed, the victim of an apparent drive-by.

The killing happened sometime after the bar closed. Witnesses said there were a number of people outside the bar when someone drove by and fired. One friend believes the victim was escorting a female friend to her car at the time.

No arrests have been reported in the case. Police have shared few details about the suspects.

The Wilkes University alum kept his show going on the campus radio station, WCLH 90.7 FM long after he left school. The program was known as a place for up and coming musicians to make their mark.

Onley was engaged and had an 11-year-old son Mycah, but to many young people he was a big brother. The emerging artists he mentored are struggling to make sense of their friend’s death.

Javar Josey who performs as “Anxious MC” said that DJ Mo was the gentlest person he ever met, and that the irony he would lose his life to violence is unbearable. Wiping away his tears he said, “He is not supposed to go. Not him. He would give anything to see someone make it.”

Josey said, to up and coming musicians DJ Mo was the face and voice of music for NEPA.

“He didn’t care about anything else but this place, and his family, and his son, because he grew up here… and this place killed him.”

Brandon Fann, who performs as “Wild Out Showtyme” said, “I was with him last night, I was there, he came to take pictures, we just got finished taking a whole lot of pictures, and sad to say we go from having fun with him, partying and laughing, to mourning.”

He added that DJ Mo tried to heal the strife in Wilkes-Barre through music. “He healed me. He healed me as a friend and someone I consider a family member.”

Map of 2013 deadly shootings in Wilkes-Barre:



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