Attempted murder suspects nabbed; one at-large

Published 10:54 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

MURFREESBORO – A Murfreesboro man, his girlfriend, and his two-year-old son are lucky to be alive today after their vehicle was riddled with bullets near here Friday night.

Meanwhile, the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office has warrants drawn on the arrest of four local men, all wanted in connection with the shooting. Three of those suspects were arrested late Monday afternoon at a Northampton County residence.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said 22-year-old Deangelo Devonte Smallwood of 408 Spring Ave., Murfreesboro; 30-year-old Earl Lamont Powell of 106 Standing Lane, Murfreesboro; and Shenondoah Perry, age 20, of 186 Pinetops Circle, Murfreesboro, are now in custody.

“We received information on Monday about their whereabouts and we were able to apprehend those three without incident at that location late Monday afternoon,” Vaughan said. “Two of my investigators, Chase Oliver and William Barmer, were assisted by Lt. Joe Burgess and Officer David Griffith of the Murfreesboro Police Department, and Lt. Jonathan Jenkins of the Northampton Sheriff’s Office in making those arrests. I would like to thank both those agencies for their help in bringing these men to justice.”

The arrests came at a residence on Parker Road, located off US 258 south of Murfreesboro.

Perry and Smallwood were each charged with three felony counts of attempted murder, one count of felony conspiracy, and a misdemeanor count of shooting into an occupied dwelling. They are currently behind bars in the Hertford County Jail, each under a $750,000 secured bond.

Powell is being held under a $950,000 bond on three felony counts of attempted first degree murder, one felony count of conspiracy, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and one misdemeanor count of shooting into an occupied vehicle.

All three men were scheduled to make their first appearance on Tuesday in Hertford County District Court.

A fourth suspect – Antwan Vaughan, age 29, of 151 Vann’s Road, Murfreesboro – remains at-large.

“We still need the public’s help in locating Antwan Vaughan. He is considered as armed and extremely dangerous. If anyone in the general public does spot him, do not approach; call us (252-358-7800) with his location and, if possible, a description of the vehicle he is in,” Sheriff Vaughan said.

The Sheriff added that the two victims in the case, who both reside in Serenity Mobile Home Park located on Wise’s Store Road just outside of Murfreesboro, remain hospitalized at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville in stable condition. He said both victims suffered gunshot wounds to the head.

“Through God’s mercy, the two adult victims survived this brutal attack, and the child in this vehicle was mercifully not injured, even though we found a bullet hole in the child’s drink cup located inside the vehicle, “Sheriff Vaughan said.

The incident was reported to the Sheriff’s Office through a call from the Murfreesboro Police Department. Upon the arrival of Oliver at the MPD shortly past midnight on Friday, he reported seeing the two victims on the ground of the MPD parking lot. Both, he said, were bleeding from wounds in their head, but one had managed to drive the bullet-riddled vehicle to the Murfreesboro Police Department.

In his report, Oliver said he was able to speak with the female victim who said she and her boyfriend, accompanied by his son, were pulling into the driveway of their home when, “guys came around and started shooting at the vehicle.”

The child was left in the care of the Murfreesboro Police Department until a caregiver arrived and took custody.

Both victims were initially transported by Hertford County EMS to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie prior to being transferred to Vidant Medical Center due to the extent of their injuries. While at Vidant RCH, Hertford County Sheriff’s Investigator Dexter Hayes was able to interview the male victim at which time the identity of the four suspects was developed.

Meanwhile, Oliver processed the victims’ vehicle parked at the Murfreesboro Police Department. He discovered a bullet lodged in the trunk lid, and another inside the trunk.

“The vehicle was basically riddled with bullet holes from the rear of the vehicle, all the way down the side to the front head light, including the front windshield,” Sheriff Vaughan noted.

Based on the statement of the female victim, a crime scene was developed at Serenity Mobile Home Park. Evidence was collected there, to include numerous shell casings from a .40 caliber weapon.

“This was a horrendous crime that could have very easily ended with loss of life, to include that of a two-year-old. This case has the full attention of my department and we will not stop working it until the last of these four suspects is arrested and brought to justice,” Sheriff Vaughan said.

As far as a possible motive to the shooting, Sheriff Vaughan said the investigation leads him to believe that an earlier altercation between the male victim and at least one of the suspects prompted the shooting.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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