Police Arrest Four In Connection With Fayetteville Shooting
Fayetteville police Tuesday arrested four people in connection with a shooting Monday night near the West End Apartments, according to preliminary probable cause reports.
Investigators on Tuesday were seeking a fifth suspect, Keon Plummer, according to a news release from police Sgt. Craig Stout, the department spokesman.
According to the preliminary reports, those arrested were: Martez Deunta Butler, 22, of Fayetteville; Aaron Jamal Walton, 20, of Springdale; Derrick Remo Doolittle, 23, of Fayetteville; and Cassie Renee Watkins, 23, of Fayetteville.
Butler was charged with two counts of attempted capital murder, 10 counts of aggravated assault, two counts of a terroristic act, and one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and engaging in violent criminal group activity, the news release states.
Walton and Doolittle were charged with two counts of being an accomplice to attempted capital murder, 10 counts of being an accomplice to aggravated assault, two counts of being an accomplice of a terroristic act and of engaging in violent criminal group activity. Watkins was charged with one count of hindering apprehension, the news release states.
The four were taken into custody after leaving apartment No. 60 at the Grandview Apartments, 401 W. 24th St., about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the reports state. That is the address listed on the preliminary reports as Watkins’ apartment.
The Fayetteville Police Emergency Response Team was called to the site after the suspects initially would not come out early Tuesday, Stout said. However, the suspects surrendered before team members entered the building, he said.
The series of events began Monday night when four men in a car said another car passed them on Wedington Drive, with the occupants of the second car yelling and honking their horn at them, the reports state.
The second car made a U-turn on Wedington and followed the first car to a duplex at 1218 N. West End Avenue. At the duplex, the occupants of the second car got out and acted as if they wanted to fight, the reports state. One of those men, Butler, fired several shots from a chrome pistol, striking an apartment unit at the nearby West End Apartments, the reports state.
Also, one person who had been in the vehicle received a “grazing wound” during the gunfire, but police could not say if the man was hit by a bullet or cut by something else, Stout said.
Wesley Lane, who lives in a studio unit at the West End Apartments, told 5NEWS three bullets slammed into his studio unit, and one bullet nearly struck him.
“It would have hit me in the side, right where the lungs are,” Lane said Monday. “I was in the bathroom trimming my eyebrows when I heard a gunshot, and when I did, I stepped back and a bullet came in front of me and went into my kitchen. I ran out the door … and then I looked over and there was a guy laying on the ground. I thought he was shot. I kept hollering at him, and he wouldn’t answer me. When I finally got him to answer me, he said he only had a cut on his hand.”
Police with flashlights were on the scene Monday, looking for evidence and taking crime-scene photographs. Officers interviewed neighbors and eyewitnesses, who said they saw a white car pull up to their neighborhood.
“A black guy got out of the car, started firing three shots, and then I went inside and called the police,” one eyewitness said. “There were more shots going on while I was inside.”
Police were called around 8:50 p.m., after eyewitnesses heard six or seven shots fired in the area. Eyewitnesses told dispatchers they heard a woman scream and a large group of people yelling, Stout said.
Lane said he saw the white drive off after the shooting and a man on the ground. Police said that is the man injured during the gunfire. The car was later identified as a white Hyundai Elantra with Iowa license plates, the preliminary reports state.
“I finally got him to answer me and he said he only had a cut in his hand. It sounded like it was only five shots but it ended up being seven,” Lane said.
Police developed information they used to track suspects to Watkins’ apartment at the Grandview Apartments, where the suspects were brought into custody, the preliminary reports state.
Jacqueline Harris, a 40-year-old Fayetteville woman who identified herself as Walton’s mother, said the charges against her son were too severe.
“I think there is injustice being done,” she said Tuesday.
Harris said she knows the passengers in both vehicles and does not believe they belong to gangs or that the incident was gang-related.
“They’re not involved in gangs,” she said. “They’re just family looking out for each other.”