Shooting victim dies

Published 10:48 am Monday, August 8, 2016

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

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said 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.

Fitzhugh said interviews conducted with the other victims 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 seeking to interview Andre Taylor (address unknown) in this case.

Stephenson had a previous charge of attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by inflicting serious injury filed against him for his alleged involvement in a June 15, 2013 shooting at the Bryantville Community Building near Como.

According to Hertford County Court records, the state sought a continuance in that case (File # 13CR51159) when the shooting victim failed to show up in District Court on Sept. 24, 2013. The judge denied the state’s motion and dismissed the charges.

The state prosecutor tried a second time to indict Stephenson in the 2013 shooting, sending file # 13CRS943 before the Hertford County Grand Jury on Oct. 28, 2013. However, the Grand Jury returned a “No True Bill” in that matter and the case against Stephenson came to a complete halt.

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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