Three reported gang members who were in the Power Ultra Lounge during a mass shooting last year -- including the 19-year-old who told authorities that he fired the first shot -- were charged Wednesday in the 2017 death of a Little Rock teenager.
The body of 14-year-old Cyncere Alexander was found by his brother July 14, 2017, on the floor of an apartment on Green Mountain Drive, according to police documents. Alexander's brother said he initially thought the teen had been beaten and was unconscious, but it was later determined that he had been shot multiple times.
The boy died before emergency personnel arrived, according to police documents.
Detectives identified Tyler Jackson, 19, Machita Decosta "Frog" Mitchell Jr., 42, Kenwan "Booman" Sherrod, 21, and Keterrioun Deshon Chandler, 20, as suspects, according to officer Steve Moore of the Little Rock Police Department, and secured warrants for their arrests Wednesday. All four men have been charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery.
Jackson, Mitchell and Sherrod were together inside the Power Ultra Lounge on July 1, 2017, during a mass shooting that left 25 people with bullet wounds and three others with other injuries. Jackson told investigators that he, Mitchell and Sherrod arrived together and that he fired the first shot in the club.
Testimony in federal court from Pulaski County investigator Sgt. Chris Schmeckenbecher indicated the club shooting stemmed from a gang argument over someone reported to have disrespected a dead member of a rival gang.
Sherrod of Little Rock is a confirmed member of the Wolfe Street Crips, and Mitchell, also of Little Rock, is a known Wolfe Street gang member, Schmeckenbecher said in federal court testimony.
In March, police identified Mitchell and Sherrod as persons of interest in Alexander's death. Jackson and Chandler were identified as suspects after they were charged this week, according to reports.
Schmeckenbecher's testimony in March in federal court indicated that Mitchell and Alexander's father, Chris Lamont "Murder," "Murda" Alexander, 32, were in an argument over missing marijuana.
Schmeckenbecher read aloud multiple text messages between Mitchell and Sherrod that indicated Chris Alexander -- considered an active member of the Crips gang by federal investigators -- had "ripped off" Mitchell and possibly Sherrod.
Officers found a large quantity of marijuana during their search of the residence immediately after Cyncere Alexander's death, according to previous reports.
In the text messages, Sherrod told Mitchell that Chris Alexander had put out a hit on him. During the conversation, according to Schmeckenbecher, Sherrod said, "He ain't got nothing but a bad-a * * little son up in that mother-f * * * * * ."
Mitchell asked if Sherrod meant Cyncere Alexander, and Sherrod said yes, according to Schmeckenbecher's testimony.
The conversation reportedly took place July 19, less than a week before Cyncere Alexander's death.
Police did not provide any details Thursday regarding a motive for Cyncere Alexander's death. Police spokesman Steve Moore said the department would not release any more information at this time.
A news release from the Police Department did not indicate what led investigators to arrest Jackson and Chandler. Chandler, of North Little Rock, surrendered to police just before midnight Wednesday at the 12th Street substation. The other three suspects were already in jail on unrelated charges and were served warrants Thursday, according to the release.
Affidavits for all four suspects are sealed until Oct. 12, according to court records.
Jackson of Conway was the second person arrested in the Power Ultra Lounge shooting and was charged with 10 counts of aggravated assault and two counts of second-degree battery in that case.
He reportedly told police that Mitchell gave him the 10mm pistol used to fire the first shot in the nightclub and that Mitchell, Sherrod and a third reputed gang member, 22-year-old Jaylyn Griffis, had urged him to fire the first shot.
Chandler, the only suspect in Cyncere Alexander's shooting with no reported gang affiliation, had been arrested previously on charges of theft by receiving, failure to appear for court and minor drug charges.
Jackson was in the Faulkner County jail Thursday afternoon on unrelated charges of felony fleeing, theft by receiving, felony aggravated assault, criminal mischief, no driver's license, failure to obey traffic control, reckless driving, speeding and failure to wear a seat belt. No bail had been set.
Chandler, Sherrod and Mitchell were in the Pulaski County jail Thursday afternoon with no bail set.
Metro on 07/13/2018
Print Headline: 4 men charged in teen's '17 killing; 3 of suspects were present at LR club shooting, files show