Two people were charged with murder and attempted murder Monday in connection with a fatal drive-by shooting in May that claimed the life of 12-year-old Eric Gregory Brown III and left a 14-year-old girl injured.
Reshawn Jonae Strother, 20, of Cypress, was charged with one count of murder, three counts of attempted murder, one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, one count of unlawful firearm activity, one count of carrying a loaded firearm and one count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Destenee Sheree Scipio, 21, of Long Beach, was charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime.
The pair is believed to be responsible for the killing of Brown who, on May 9, was on the sidewalk in the 2200 block of Lewis Avenue around 11:30 p.m. with the 14-year-old and another 13-year girl when they were approached by a vehicle, police previously said. People in the car then fired numerous shots at the three children, killing Brown and wounding the 14-year-old girl, police said.
According to the DA’s office, a third individual was in the car and the city of Long Beach currently has a $25,000 reward in place for anyone who can help police identify others who were involved.
“These two individuals stand accused of a heinous act of violence that shattered the lives of innocent children. With callous disregard for human life, they allegedly orchestrated an attack that claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy and left a 14-year-old girl wounded,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Today, we begin the process of holding them accountable for their actions. We will seek justice for the victims, their families, and our community, as we strive to ensure that such senseless acts of violence have no place in our society.”
Strother allegedly used a handgun in the attack, according to the DA’s office.
At an emotional press conference Friday morning announcing the arrests, Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish said there is no indication Strother and Scipio knew any of the children they shot at. Police believe the shooting stemmed from an earlier gang-related altercation that didn’t involve any of the children, according to Hebeish.
Strother, who is a documented gang member, was already in custody on an unrelated attempted murder charge, said Heibish, and Scipio, whom police believe is Strother’s girlfriend, was arrested Wednesday. He said Scipio has a violent criminal history, but he did not elaborate.
“As a father, it pains me to think that anybody would think so little of a life, let alone the life of children, that they’d commit a crime like this,” the chief said Friday.
The defendants are expected in Long Beach court on July 21 in Department S17 for their preliminary hearing. Scipio and Strother remain in jail on $4 million and $6 million bail, respectively.
Staff reporter Fernando Haro Garcia contributed to this report.