Two suspects arrested in connection with murder of 3-year-old boy after firing off 150 rounds

CHARLOTTE, NC – Police have made two arrests in connection with an shooting incident that occurred earlier in September that involved several suspects opening fire on a house, firing off roughly 150 rounds, which led to a 3-year-old boy being killed.

During the evening of September 7th at approximately at 11:45 p.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say that two vehicles pulled up to a home off of Richard Rozzelle Drive, with multiple people exiting both of the vehicles.

The suspects who exited the vehicle then started firing into the home, where police say 11 people were inside of at the time, letting out roughly 150 rounds before driving off. During the gunfire, 3-year-old Asiah Figueroa was shot and killed, and his 4-year-old sister suffered a graze wound.

Asiah’s grandmother, Susie Whitley, was home during the shooting, saying she was just about to go to sleep when the gunshots started ringing out. She said that when she went into the young child’s room, she was greeted by her other grandson who was holding Asiah’s body:

“When I went into his room, my grandson was in there, was holding him and he said, ‘Grandma, I think he’s gone.’ I didn’t want to believe it.”

A security camera from across the street captured footage of the shooting incident, which the gunfire lasted approximately 10-11 seconds before the two vehicles sped off.

Investigators believe that the shooting is somehow connected to two other homicide investigations, which CMPD Captain Joel McNelly said may have some sort of connection to high school students between three local high schools:

“We believe that these tragic events stemmed from some simple disputes. What started out as teenage dispute games, has turned into a deadly game that’s now taken two lives.”

So far, police have made two arrests in connection with the fatal shooting of Asiah.

On September 8th, police arrested 21-year-old Qua’Tonio Stephens and he has since charged Stephens with accessory after the fact to murder, felony flee to elude, seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and three counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling.

The felony flee to elude charge came from when police attempted to pull Stephens over on September 8th, which police say that Stephen failed to pull over and a brief pursuit ensued until police were able to successfully take him into custody on Interstate 85 near Glenwood Drive.

The second suspect arrested in the case was identified as 21-year-old Jacob Lanier, which he has been charged with murder, eight counts of attempted murder, nine counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling and conspiracy to commit murder.

Police are still actively investigating the case and more suspects are likely being sought as investigators aren’t certain as to exactly how many people were involved in the shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. Detective Dollar is the lead detective assigned to this case.

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Police: Neighbors may have heard children’s screams before they were killed – and nobody called 911

(Originally published September 2nd, 2021)

BALTIMORE, MD – According to reports, neighbors may have unknowingly heard the final screams of 8-year-old Davin Thomas and 6-year-old Da’Neria Thomas before they were murdered inside of their apartment – yet no one called 911 when the screams were heard.

Police say that the brother and sister were killed by their own mother.

On August 24th, the body of 8-year-old Davin was found inside of his living room, with the child having been stabbed to death. His sister, Da’Neria, was found deceased in the bathtub, with authorities noting that a “clothing object wrapped around her neck.”

One day after the bodies of the children were discovered, police arrested 28-year-old Jameria Hall, the children’s mother. Reportedly, Hall waived her rights upon arrest and confessed to murdering her two children.

The father of the children told authorities that the last time he’d seen Hall was on August 24th, remarking how he thought she was under the influence of something as he saw her walking in the area of North Avenue and Bloomingdale Road – screaming and cursing at no one.

In the week prior to Hall’s arrest, neighbors recalled her bizarrely throwing away her children’s beds.

Charging documents note that the last time Davin and Da’Neria were seen alive was on August 19th, as the children played outside that evening. It was also that same night that neighbor Ray Cherry recalled hearing the children screaming from inside the apartment “Mommy, no, Mommy. Mommy.”

At the time, Cherry assumed that perhaps the kids were witnessing some sort of verbal altercation between Hall and some other man – and decided to not call 911 over the matter. He now realizes that what he heard that night may have been those kids’ final pleas for help:

“I’m weeping. I’m weeping because the kids, she didn’t have to kill them kids. She didn’t have to do it. I don’t know. I don’t know what took place. I don’t know what is going on with Baltimore City.”

Adam Rosenberg, a child advocate at Lifebridge Health Center for Hope, says that whenever someone can hear a child scream, they need to call police immediately:

“People just don’t want to get involved. And we can’t be angry when people die if we’re not willing to put ourselves out there to try and stop violence, whether that violence is child abuse or whether that violence is gun violence.”

Some who knew Hall were confused about the murders of her children. Chantelle Carnochan, a former classmate of Hall’s, claimed that the last time she texted her she seemed normal and mentioned that Hall always seemed to take care of her children:

“She was all about her kids – that was her first and top priority. She always posted her kids. It was always about her kids. She always made comments to do better for them, so I can’t even put into…I just can’t make it make sense to me.”

Rosenberg says that despite how cheerful one may look with their kids online through social media, that one mustn’t assume all is well in the home by that measure alone:

“We can’t rely on social media to give us a real clue as to how things are. We need to build human interaction with people and children.”

Hall’s criminal history shows that she was convicted of first-degree arson back in 2018 for setting a house fire, where she was sentenced to five years in prison but only served one year due to the remainder of the sentence being suspended.  

During a court hearing on August 26th, Hall’s public defender asked the judge to order a competency hearing. The judge ordered that Hall be administered a psychiatric evaluation while she remains in custody and a bail hearing will be conducted in two weeks’ time.

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Caught on camera: Man sitting in driveway talking to woman, child on bike suddenly attacked by two gunmen

(Originally published August 30th, 2021)

JACKSON COUNTY, MO – Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying and capturing two men who were caught on Ring security video pulling guns on a man who was just sitting in his driveway minding his own business. 

The incident occurred on August 24th in Salem East, which is a neighborhood that is located outside Independence city limits in unincorporated Jackson County, WDAF reported.

The victim has a Ring security camera mounted on his home which captured the terrifying ordeal. 

In the video you can see a man sitting in a chair at the edge of his driveway speaking to a woman and a child on a bicycle when suddenly a silver pickup truck slowly pulls up in front of the man’s home. 

Both the man and the woman looked at the pickup truck without reaction until a man jumped out of the passenger side of the vehicle with a gun in hand. 

Immediately the woman picked up the child, bicycle and all, and ran from the scene. 

The man ran in the direction of his home; however, he tripped and fell on the lawn in the process. 

This is when a second man emerged from the vehicle with a gun in hand also. 

The victim managed to jump back to his feet quickly and fight off one of the suspects as he attempted to hit the victim with the gun, and his accomplice stood behind him. 

A minor scuffle occurred before the man ran into his home. The two suspects made a halfhearted attempted to run after him, before returning to their vehicle and fleeing the scene in a different direction than they came. 

From the video it appears that the suspects did not intend to shoot the victim, however this may have been a very depraved scare tactic. 

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, WDAF reported.

Deputies said that anyone with information, or who could help authorities identify the gunman, should contact Jackson County Sheriff’s Detective Joshua Cox at 816-541-8017 ext. 72231.

The video below shows the entire incident taking place. 


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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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