Update: The suspects charged in last week’s fatal shooting of David Scott wounded one of their own while firing about 30 shots at the car Scott was driving at Seventh Street and Coolidge Avenue, police testified today in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Three of the suspects faced murder charges today. A fourth, Christopher Pender, remains under guard in the hospital after one of his accomplices hit him with a bullet that entered his hip and exited his right buttock, police said. He also has been charged with murder, and will be jailed upon his release from the hospital, officers said.
Facing charges this morning were Tyrecquiss Shaewaun Wells, 22; Jayln Trevonta Dixon, 20; and Christopher Whitaker, 22; who also are charged in a robbery and shooting on Baltic Court that happened about two hours before Scott was shot, authorities said.
Detectives today presented evidence in the Baltic Court robbery and shooting before the murder case.
They said the 28-year-old victim told them that as he arrived at his uncle’s home around 8 p.m. Sept. 19, two men came into the driveway to rob him. One with an assault rifle stood in front of his car, while another with a handgun came to the driver’s window and said “Give it up!”
When he gave them $400, the man at his window asked, “Where’s the rest?” The victim then sped away and was hit in the stomach as they opened fire, said Detective Katina Williams. Later he parked his vehicle and called his wife to take him to the hospital.
Williams said the wounded man was able to identify Wells and Dixon from photo lineups, telling police Dixon had the rifle.
The suspects later told investigators Pender was the robber with the handgun, and Wells provided the guns and drove Pender and Dixon to Baltic Court in a gold 2003 Ford F-150 pickup truck that had been stolen Sept. 16.
Whitaker was charged in this case because he set up the robbery, Williams said. Whitaker had called the victim to arrange a meeting to buy marijuana, but the victim didn’t have any, so the suspects decided to rob him, she said.
They had intended to execute a similar scheme to rob a “drug house” later that night, but while en route Wells saw the Chevrolet Impala that Scott was driving and told his accomplices it came from the residence they were targeting.
Detective Murry Gunderson testified Dixon then was driving the stolen truck with Wells in the front passenger seat and Pender and Whitaker behind them. A fifth gunman was in the truck bed, said Gunderson, who would not identify that suspect.
When they saw the Impala at Seventh and Coolidge, Dixon used the Ford pickup to block the car as the gunmen got out. Scott, 34, with a passenger beside him, threw the Impala into reverse to get away.
Then came the barrage of gunfire from three separate weapons, a .45-caliber, a 9mm and the .223-caliber AR-15, Gunderson said.
Hit in the forehead, Scott died in the hospital at 2:15 a.m. Sept. 20. His passenger was uninjured.
The would-be robbers got nothing from those victims, Gunderson said. They put the wounded Pender back in the pickup and fled, later abandoning and burning the truck, the detective said. Whitaker took Pender to the hospital, he said.
Concerned residents gave police the first tips in the case, said Williams and Gunderson: People started calling investigators that night to say “Shay-Shay,” Wells’ street name, was with Dixon committing robberies. That gave police enough information to show the Baltic Court victim photo lineups with those two suspects.
Dixon was arrested at 9:17 a.m. Tuesday at the Columbus Day Reporting Center, 1328 2nd Ave. He confessed to the Baltic Court robbery and assault and implicated Wells and Dixon, Williams said. Whitaker was arrested about 5 p.m. Thursday at a Summit station at Whitesville Road and Double Churches Road, detectives said.
Wells’ arrest Tuesday was another story, involving a nearly hour-long chase at speeds up to 120 mph, before he abandoned the car and ran.
Patrol officers said police first located Wells in a silver 2006 Chevrolet Impala at 3:50 p.m. at Gateway Road and Beaver Run Road. When they tried to stop him four minutes later on Warm Springs Road, he sped east at 90 mph.
He turned on Billings Road, came back to Gateway Road and then got on the Manchester Expressway, headed west at up to 120 mph, officers said. He maneuvered through heavy traffic to reach Interstate 185, then headed south at up to 110 mph.
He took the Buena Vista Road exit and headed west to Steam Mill Road, a two-lane on which Wells repeatedly crossed into oncoming traffic, at one point going off the road to get around a school bus, police said. Officers continued their pursuit on Timberlain Drive, Dirk Way and Parkwood Drive, but then lost sight of Wells.
Five minutes later, police picked up his trail again at Floyd Road and Chalbena Avenue, where a witness volunteered that Wells had parked the Impala behind Faith Tabernacle Community Church, 1603 Floyd Road. There police found the car and started chasing Wells on foot as he ran south through a backyard at 1514 Hagan Drive, dropping things as he fled, officers said.
Sprinting out the driveway of that residence, he ran west on Hagan Drive, turned south on Wellborn Drive, and then doubled back toward Floyd Road, where officers caught him in a yard.
Columbus attorney Richard Hagler represented Wells during this morning’s hearing. He asked detectives if Wells made any statements about the chase.
He did, Gunderson said: During a break in a police interview, the detective escorted Wells to a restroom at police headquarters, and they were walking back when Gunderson asked about the chase. According to Gunderson, Wells said: “Yeah, I ran. I didn’t want to go to jail.”
At the hearing’s conclusion, Judge Michael Cielinski ordered each defendant held without bond for prosecution in Muscogee Superior Court. He dismissed only charges of discharging a firearm within city limits, concluding that would be merged into other offenses. Besides murder, each suspect’s charges include armed robbery, criminal attempt armed robbery, aggravated assault, theft by receiving stolen property and using a firearm to commit a crime.
Here is today's earlier report:
Columbus police have now charged four suspects in last week's fatal shooting.
Police arrested Tyrecquiss Shaewaun Wells and Jayln Trevonta Dixon on Tuesday. Christopher Whitaker also has been charged, and Christopher Pender, who is in the hospital from a gunshot wound, also faces charges.
Pender was shot during the shooting at Seventh Street and Coolidge Avenue. Police said Friday that there were 30 shots from three different weapons that night. Pender was hurt when a bullet struck him in the hip and exited his buttocks. Police said Friday they're still searching for a possible fifth suspect who may have been riding in the back of the Ford F150.
Stay with ledger-enquirer.com for more on this story.
Thursday's story: Columbus police have charged a second suspect in David Scott’s fatal shooting last week at 7th Street and Coolidge Avenue.
Along with 22-year-old Tyrecquiss Shaewaun Wells, whom police arrested Tuesday after chasing him down, 20-year-old Jayln Trevonta Dixon has been charged with murder in Scott’s Sept. 19 homicide.
Dixon and Wells also are charged in a second shooting that occurred earlier that night on Baltic Court, an incident detectives now are calling not just an aggravated assault but also an armed robbery.
Besides murder, Dixon’s charges include armed robbery, criminal attempt armed robbery, theft by receiving stolen property, first-degree burglary, being a convicted felon with a firearm and two counts each of aggravated assault and using a firearm to commit a crime, according to jail records.
Records show Dixon was arrested at 9:17 a.m. Tuesday at the Columbus Day Reporting Center, 1328 2nd Ave. Initially he was booked into the county jail only on charges of aggravated assault and burglary.
Police caught Wells about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday after a lengthy car and foot chase that started on Interstate 185 before Wells exited onto Buena Vista Road and led officers through the Floyd Road area, where he abandoned his silver Chevy Impala and fled on foot. He was caught in a yard along Floyd Road.
Along with traffic offenses related to the chase, Wells’ charges include murder, armed robbery, criminal attempt armed robbery, theft by receiving stolen property, two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of using a firearm to commit a crime, and four of being a convicted felon with a gun.
Both suspects are to have a preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder’s Court at 9 a.m. Friday.
Scott, 34, was mortally wounded while in a friend’s white Chevrolet Impala when they approached the intersection’s stop sign, according to his mother, Jo Carolyn Dowdell. There people in a Ford pickup truck jumped out and told Scott and his friend to get out of the car.
“He put the car in reverse, and they began shooting,” Dowdell said.
Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said the bullet went through the front windshield and hit Scott in the forehead. Scott was rushed to Midtown Medical Center (formerly The Medical Center) and pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m. Sept. 20.
The suspects’ armed robbery charges stem from the shooting of a 28-year-old man around 8 p.m. Sept. 19. Police reported assailants in a tan or gold Ford 150 pickup truck used a rifle and pistol to shoot the victim in the stomach in a Baltic Court driveway. The wounded man called his wife to take him to the hospital.