How gun case was cracked

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 2, 2018

NATCHEZ — More details surfaced Tuesday about the burglaries of multiple local gun stores and efforts to arrest suspects, including 17-year-old Anthony D. Fleming, who Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested.

The other two suspects, 19-year-old Kelandrix Lushaw and 20-year-old Shawnveon Holiday, were arrested in Wilkinson County.

One of the first big breaks in the investigation came Sunday morning when Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten received a call from Wilkinson County asking for assistance, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office reported. The call came hours after the most recent burglary at Sports Center, with the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office requesting help from Adams County Sheriff’s Office’s special response team.

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After law enforcement received information that the suspects of the Sports Center burglary as well as the burglary of a pawn shop in Ridgecrest were located at 42 Pine Tree Lane in Wilkinson County, special response team members from Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Natchez Police Department and the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office began coordinating a plan while obtaining a search warrant, Patten said.

Then, law enforcement apprehended Holiday during a traffic stop on U.S. 61 South after he left the residence in a vehicle, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said. Holiday, ACSO deputies reported, had two stolen Sports Center handguns in his possession. Deputies found no other evidence at the residence after searching the Pine Tree Lane residence.

The special response teams then moved to 2505 Doloroso Loop, where they detained Lushaw. There, a black Honda Accord allegedly used in the burglaries sat beside the residence with a gun tag from one of the stolen Sports Center weapons on the ground next to the vehicle, investigators reported.Police towed the vehicle back to the Natchez Police Department, where they plan to execute a search warrant on the car, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said.

Inside that residence on Doloroso Loop, deputies found another pistol stolen from Sports Center and also discovered other leads about additional suspects, investigators reported.

Not long after, Natchez police received a tip from someone who said two males that were involved in the burglaries were walking around in Natchez. When approached by an officer, the two fled on foot and one dumped a stolen pistol on the ground, Armstrong said.

NPD officers and Adams County sheriff’s deputies then set up a perimeter and discovered one of the suspects — a juvenile — hiding under a house on St. Catherine Street. The juvenile was taken into custody, but because no contact could be made with his parents, Armstrong said the juvenile was incarcerated in a Louisiana jail. The other suspect evaded arrest.

As of Tuesday evening, law enforcement agencies continued their investigation and pursued further arrests. Armstrong said he spent parts of Tuesday coordinating with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on the investigation.

In addition to the suspects police identified as being involved in the burglaries, Armstrong said agencies would look for anyone who might have illegal possession of stolen weapons.

“Anyone who may have received any firearms that they didn’t purchase legitimately from a store, maybe they purchased it on the street, they need to turn it in immediately,” Armstrong said. “We’re not only going after individuals that we have strong evidence of (committing) these burglaries, but we are going to go after individuals who may be in possession of these firearms.

“We’re not going to stop until we get these weapons back into the hands of their rightful owners.”

Armstrong also commended the public for its role in the investigation so far and urged citizens with any knowledge that could aid law enforcement to call the Natchez Police Department or Crime Stoppers 601-442-5000.

“We need these guns off the street,” Armstrong said. “It does not make for a safe community to have this type of firepower out on the streets and to have them in the hands of people that should not have them in the first place.”

Both Armstrong and Patten commended the law enforcement officers for working diligently late into the night throughout the weekend on the case.