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Suspects in off-Strip shooting also at site of gunfire near party bus

Updated October 22, 2020 - 4:02 pm

Multiple people charged in connection with a Sept. 26 shooting near the Strip were part of a group on a party bus that was involved in a nearby separate shooting that morning, according to arrest reports.

About 2 a.m. Sept. 26, a fight began between two women on a party bus in a parking lot on the 300 block of East Tropicana Avenue. The fight left the bus, when one of the women was allegedly shot by 26-year-old Morris Fields, the Metropolitan Police Department has said.

An hour and a half later, police were called to a shooting in the parking lot of the Stage Door Casino, 4000 Linq Lane, about 2½ miles from the first shooting.

Video surveillance showed that “numerous suspects” who were at the first shooting were also at the Stage Door Casino. Police believe about 15 suspects were involved in the shooting at the bar and liquor store, during which three people were shot, according to arrest reports.

Three suspects — 28-year-old Lee Owens, 23-year-old Qiwon Whittiker and 21-year-old Donald Zackery — were arrested by Metro gang detectives and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Sept. 28, police said.

Court records list five other co-defendants in the case — John Ferrell, 26, who was booked into jail on Oct. 2, and Elijah Brown, Charles Packard, Dante Harmon and Earnest Ruff, who have not been arrested.

The eight men have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, eight counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, three counts of battery with a deadly weapon, and 21 counts of discharging a gun within a structure or at an occupied structure or vehicle, court records show.

Those on the party bus who were at both shootings were “part of a large group” visiting from Fresno, California, for a birthday party, according to arrest reports.

Witnesses told police that before the shooting outside the Stage Door, two men riding mobility scooters were blocked from leaving the store by four other men. An argument broke out, followed by a fight among about 10 people in the parking lot; the reports said security officers broke up the fight.

Some of the suspects were “following victims on foot and in vehicles” for about 15 minutes, the reports state. Four men, including Ferrell and Brown, were seen in surveillance footage running to the top of the nearby Cromwell parking garage in an “overwatch position,” where police believe they monitored the victims and communicated with others in their group, the reports said.

A witness with the group who was shot at said they were in an alley behind the store when two cars pulled up and gunfire rang out.

At least two people opened fire, but it was unclear from the reports if police identified the shooters.

In a Sept. 29 statement, Metro said gang detectives also arrested Fields in connection with the first shooting. Fields, who has been charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon and discharging a gun where a person might be endangered, is not listed as a co-defendant in the other case, court records show.

Zackery and Whittiker have been released from custody after each posted bond on a $25,000 bail, while Owens and Ferrell remained in the detention center on Thursday. Owens has a $25,000 bail, while Ferrell has a $250,000 bail, court records show.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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