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Shooting Suspects Surrender — One charged, Other Awaits Fate

BY COLIN KRIEGER

The Packet

columbuspacket@cableone.net

 

Officer Joseph Strevel talks with Cpl. Bill Smith at the scene of the shooting.

Officer Joseph Strevel talks with Cpl. Bill Smith at the scene of the shooting.

Two men wanted in connection with a Friendly City shooting surrendered to Columbus Police Department investigators Wednesday afternoon. Jamarquis Easley and Lashun Harris had been sought by the CPD as persons of interest after a Sunday morning shooting in an East Columbus neighborhood.

The incident occurred July 7 around 10 a.m. in the front yard of a single-family home located at 107 Florence St. in East Columbus. Witnesses told police that Easley and Harris pulled up to the home, belonging to Terreca Armistad, and opened fire at three adults standing near the front stoop. Witnesses told police that the two suspects then fled, one in a late model white Dodge Charger, the other in older model blue Nissan Maxima. Dispatchers at E-911 immediately placed a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for the two suspects, and both Columbus Police and Lowndes County Sheriffs continued the search throughout Sunday.

Police discovered nine bullet casings strewn in the street at the foot of the home’s driveway. After questioning neighbors, investigators discovered that a female at the home (believed to be Armistad) had picked up the bullet casings from her front yard and threw them into the street. When questioned, she reportedly admitted moving the evidence, saying that she thought she must have been in shock or panic when she moved them. Investigators then began to piece together information that would lead to the suspicion that the shooting was just one of several run-ins over the last two weeks that may all be related.

Kenny Armistad

Kenny Armistad

On June 29, Columbus Police Officers were en route to the Fairgrounds to clear a party when a call came in regarding a fight near the front of the David Lavender Coliseum. Once on scene, officers Sherman Mosley and James Hansen detained several subjects. The detainees told the officers that a young man with a gun had just pulled out driving a green SUV. Hansen bolted for the truck, a mint green Chevy Tahoe, near the front gate and multiple officers stopped the vehicle at TAZER / gun point.

Four black males were removed from the vehicle and detained and searched. All denied knowledge of a gun. While being searched, 18-year old Kenny Armistad was found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana, and in his pocket was a single .45 caliber bullet. The SUV was searched and Mosley found a Glock .45 (loaded with matching ammo) underneath Armistad’s seat. The gun came back as having been stolen a month earlier in Columbus.

Armistad was arrested and charged with possession of a stolen firearm, possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct and simple assault. Armistad’s home address on his arrest report was that of his mother, Terreca, at 107 Florence Street.

Columbus Police also arrested another man minutes later in front of the main entrance to the Fairgrounds who was also believed to be involved in the disturbance. According to arrest records, LeShun Harris was taken into custody mere seconds before Armistad and was charged with disorderly conduct for his behavior on scene.

LeShun Harris

LeShun Harris

About one week later, in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 7, LCSO deputies were approaching the popular East Lowndes hang-out Club Rose to shut it down for the evening. As they approached the property, shots were fired and several vehicles started fleeing the area. The deputies waited for backup before entering the premises. Deputies discovered several several spent (and one unfired) 9mm casings in the parking lot near the main building. A grey BMW was found with two bullet holes in it (ceiling and fender).

According to witnesses, there was a physical altercation (which damaged several cars, including a Mercedes E Class dents all the way down the passenger side) and a Honda Accord (scratches on the front fenders). Reportedly, a shooting victim left the scene in a white Cadillac. No reports of victims were known at any area hospitals.

Several witnesses on scene placed Harris and Armistad at Club Rose that morning, although neither the Columbus Police nor the LCSO would confirm their presence was reported.

Kenny Armistad has a long history with local authorities, dating back to countless arrests as a minor, including one charge for armed robbery when he was 16. Jamarquis Easley, nephew of the recently departed gangland legend John “Cong-Cong” Easley, has at least 19 arrests on file at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center. Included in his history are multiple assault charges, armed robbery, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, domestic violence and failure to wear a seatbelt. LeShun Harris, a former standout football player at Caledonia High School, has a relatively modest rap sheet in comparison. He has been arrested for twice for DUI, two charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, and multiple minor driving offenses before his most recent arrest.

Jamarquis Easley

Jamarquis Easley

Both Easley and Harris were all smiles as they were taken into custody for their trip to LCADC. Harris was reportedly charged with six counts of aggravated Assaultwith a Weapon for the shooting, each with a $12,500 bond ($75,000 total.) Harris was able to post bond less than two hours later and was released from LCADC.

Easley has yet to be charged in the shooting, but was taken into custody on a misdemeanor contempt of court warrant. Upon his arrival at the jail, he was notified that he was also facing several Circuit Court warrants for Malicious Mischief and Domestic Violence (3rd Offense). He will stay in jail until the August Circuit Court session.

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