OSCEOLA COUNTY, FLA. — Two men wanted in the fatal shooting of a Rock Hill father at an apartment complex last week turned themselves in to authorities on Monday after spending several days in Florida, police say.
Desmond Cunningham, 21, and Kenyan McClinton, 20, are being held by the Osceola County (Fla.) Sheriffs Department after telling deputies of their plans to surrender and turning themselves in on outstanding murder warrants, said Executive Officer Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill Police Department. They will be held in Florida as fugitives until they are extradited back to Rock Hill.
Laterrious Demonte Ashley, the third suspect in the fatal shooting at Stone Haven apartments last Tuesday, is being held at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Detention Center. He had been hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the arm and a fractured leg.
Police last week named the three men as suspects in the deadly shootout that left 20-year-old Jordan Poirier, father to a 4-year-old girl, dead in his own apartment. Officers went to the apartment complex off Celanese Road after receiving calls about shots fired. When they arrived, they found Poirier already dead of at least one gunshot wound.
Police learned from a witness that one of the suspects in the shooting had been injured by a gunshot to the arm. Authorities checked with area hospitals for any gunshot victims matching the suspects description.
Carolinas Medical Center in Pineville, N.C., reported a match. From there, Ashley had been taken to receive medical treatment at CMCs main hospital in Charlotte, police said. Last week, other witnesses came forward and described the car the three men used to flee Stone Haven, authorities said. They found that car, which belongs to a friend of one of the suspects, parked outside CMC-Pineville.
Police identified Cunningham and McClinton as the other two suspects in the shooting.
On Monday afternoon, police received a call that both men had fled to Osceola County, Fla., and planned to turn themselves in, Bollinger said. Police had received information that the two men might have been staying in Florida. Family members, he said, had been somewhat cooperative.
John Barnette, founder of Charlottes True Healing Under God a civil rights organization has aligned himself with Cunninghams family with hopes of providing him with a lawyer and ensuring that he has fair representation at bond hearings and court appearances.
Barnette said a member of Cunninghams family called him, asking him to intervene. When Barnette spoke with Cunningham, the murder suspect who had been staying at a hotel with McClinton, told Barnette he was tired of running.
Hayvonia Erby, Cunningham's aunt, said family members successfully convinced her nephew to return home and face his charges.
He got scared," she said about his decision to run. Everybody makes mistakes.
Cunningham, she said, grew up in Rock Hill. He began spending time around the wrong crowd and eventually fell into some trouble. He was working to turn his life around when he was charged with murder. He earned his GED and began working a regular job.
This has been stressful on the family, especially Cunninghams mother, Erby said. Its been hard on both sides.
She said she was not sure what her nephew was doing at Stone Haven last week. All she knows is all of them were friends and hung out together.
Police are still working to determine a motive in Poiriers slaying, Bollinger said, and have not confirmed if any drugs or alcohol use were involved in the shootout.
Authorities have confirmed that all three men knew each other. A fifth man, a friend of Poiriers, was also at the scene and has been able to help police in the investigation.
Police have not identified any other suspects in Poiriers killing, and say that nothing was taken from him or his apartment. Police are still waiting for ballistics test results from the State Law Enforcement Division to learn who exactly shot which of the two handguns found at the scene.
Barnette said Cunningham told him that he was using the bathroom when he walked out and saw Poirier holding a gun. After shots were exchanged and Poirier was struck, the three men ran out the apartment. Both Barnette and Erby said Cunningham does not have any family members in Florida. Barnette said the two went to the Sunshine State just to get away ... to go as far as they could.
I just want to give them an attorney so their story will be heard, he said.
I feel like I have comfort in my heart, said Anna Hamacher, mother to Jordan Poiriers daughter, Addie. Im still angry about it. I do have a little bit of comfort in my heart knowing theyre behind bars.
The family buried Poirier this past Saturday at Woodside Cemetery in Clover. The couples 4-year-old daughter does not want to talk about her dad, Hamacher said.
She knows somethings wrong, but shes scared for us to tell her, she said. We ask her if she wants to talk about her dad; she says no.
The family created a memorial in Poiriers honor, Hamacher said,. When her daughter is ready, Ill be able to tell her.