Legendary ArkLaTex musician found dead Sunday

Omar Shariff (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
Omar Shariff (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - A legendary musician was found shot to death Sunday morning in East Texas.

That grim discovery came early Sunday morning at a home in the 700 block of Spring Street in Marshall, Texas.

That's where police officers responded and found 73-year-old David Alexander Elam, a.k.a Omar Shariff unresponsive.

Elam, or Shariff as he's known, earned the nickname of the "Boogie Woogie" man of Marshall, though he was born in Shreveport in 1938.

John Tennison, known as the "Boogie Woogie" historian who coined Marshall as the birthplace of boogie woogie said, "I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Omar Shariff.  Omar's death is all the more tragic to me because he was only 73 years old and he had tremendous unrealized potential."

Police say he suffered a fatal gunshot wound, and at this point it seems that foul play was not involved and is not suspected.

Back in March of this year, KSLA News 12 reported on Shariff, not long after a city-funded group paid to have him flown back to his hometown and set up a place for him to live.

It came years after Shariff had left Marshall because of what he described as racism against him.

An autopsy was ordered to determine Shariff's exact cause of death.

Marshall Police detectives, along with the crime scene unit responded to and are conducting the investigation.

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