Shooting victim succumbs

Published 12:16 pm Thursday, August 4, 2016

AHOSKIE – The store clerk at Murphy Express that was shot early Wednesday morning has died.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald this morning (Thursday) that 23-year-old Lakiesha Sutton passed away at around 8 p.m. Wednesday at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Sutton was a resident of Ahoskie.

Meanwhile, two other male victims in the shooting are recovering from their non-life threatening injuries. Fizhugh said one was shot in the foot and the other in his buttocks. Their names were not released.

Fitzhugh did say that the Ahoskie Police are still seeking information on the whereabouts of the alleged shooter, Shakur Deandre Stephenson, age 22, of Murfreesboro.

“We are using other resources within the law enforcement community to seek out and arrest Mr. Stephenson,” Fitzhugh said.

With Sutton’s death, the arrest warrants on file for Stephenson have been updated to include one count of first degree murder and five counts of attempted first degree murder. Fitzhugh said the attempted murder charges include the two male victims that suffered gunshot wounds, and three other males who were in the convenience store’s parking lot at the time of the shooting.

Those charges stem from what appears to have been some sort of altercation in the parking lot of Murphy Express around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. There, upon the arrival of Ahoskie Police officers, Fitzhugh said a female, later identified as Sutton, was found suffering from a gunshot wound. She was rushed to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital by Hertford County EMS and then airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

“From the information we gathered, the store clerk exited the store and was in the vicinity of the individuals involved in the altercation at which time shots were fired, and the store clerk was struck by a bullet,” Fitzhugh said.

He added that he did not believe Sutton was the intended target.

“After clearing the scene at Murphy Express, investigators met with and interviewed two other victims that were shot at Murphy Express,” Fitzhugh said, adding those two men were at the Emergency Room of Vidant R-CH when they were interviewed.

Fitzhugh said the interviews and evidence collected led APD Detectives Justin Farmer and Stephen White

to draw up the felony arrest warrants against Stephenson.

The Ahoskie Police are also actively seeking Andre Taylor (address unknown) as a person of interest in the shooting.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald is attempting to learn more about Stephenson’s past criminal history. A search of his name under the NC Department of Public Safety’s website only lists a DWI arrest in Northampton County on March 29, 2013.

However, in a July 10, 2013 article published by this newspaper, Stephenson was arrested one day earlier by the Murfreesboro Police Department on a warrant issued by the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office for attempted first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by inflicting serious injury.

Those charges stemmed from Stephenson’s alleged involvement in a June 15, 2013 shooting at the Bryantville Community Building near Como. He was jailed under a $500,000 bond and the News-Herald is attempting to obtain information about the disposition of Stephenson’s court proceedings in that matter.

Stephenson is also alleged to have a charge in Guilford County for assault on a government official.

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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