Police ID 1 slain, 1 hurt in SWAR shooting; 4 people in custody

Police ID 1 slain, 1 hurt in SWAR shooting; 4 people in custody
Ashdown, Ark., resident Hassan Muhamad said the gunshots were fired outside his home, hitting two people. (Source: KSLA News 12)

ASHDOWN, AR (KSLA) - Four people whom police think were in a car involved in a fatal shooting in Ashdown, Ark., appeared Monday morning in Little River County Court.

Investigators say official charges have not been filed against Joshua King, Brady Winship, Tenescha Wilkerson and a juvenile but they do have enough evidence to hold the four.

"Because the case is pretty complicated, we believe we have the right people. As a matter of fact, we know we have the right people,"  said Bryan Chesshier, Little River prosecuting attorney. "But the investigation is going on to make sure we have the case completed before we file the charges."

Possible charges include drive-by shooting, which is a gang-related statute, murder and first-degree battery, Chesshier said.

Some of the people investigators have interviewed have indicated the shooting may have been gang related and they believe the parties involved knew each other, the prosecutor said.

"While in court, one of the suspects asked if he could take a polygraph test. But the judge said that will be determined at a later time."

The four are being held in connection with a shooting just after 1 a.m. Sunday on Washington Street in Ashdown that killed a man and wounded another.

Police say 19-year-old Desmond Smith was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at Little River Memorial Hospital for treatment of an apparent gunshot wound to his chest.

"Desmond was loving, he was caring, he was kind," said Lawanda Hamilton, one of his relatives.

Samari Covington, 19, was taken to Little River Memorial for treatment of a gunshot wound to one of his arms and later transferred to a Texarkana hospital, authorities said.

Investigators say four people in a red Dodge Charger came by a house on Washington Street looking for one of the people who lived there.

A relative reportedly told the people in the car to leave because they suspected they were there to fight.

Smith and Covington, who were visiting the residence, went out to the car.

The vehicle was about to leave when someone fired multiple shots, hitting both men and two parked cars, according to police.

Officers later found several 9mm shell casings and put out an alert for other agencies to be on the lookout for the car.

A witness identified one of the people in the car as Joshua King, of DeQueen, Ark.

A few hours later, Sevier County sheriff's deputies and DeQueen police officers stopped a vehicle near DeQueen that matched the description of the car used in the shooting.

They took all four people in the car, including King, into custody.

Authorities ask anyone with any information about this case to call Ashdown police at (870) 898-5640.

"If anybody knows the truth, please step forward and tell the truth for my nephew. We just want justice," Hamilton pleaded.

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