Arrests made in man’s shooting death at Middlesex Co. party

MIDDLESEX Co., Va. – The Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office has arrested all the people in connection with the death of a Gloucester County man at a party in the 5000 block of General Puller Highway Saturday.

At 11:52 p.m. on March 23, deputies with the sheriff’s office were called to respond to the area in reference to a party with underage attendees and the smell of marijuana. The anonymous caller said there were male suspects from Lancaster County who were trying to start a fight.

Moments later another 911 came in from the same address; this time, the caller said someone had been shot. Deputies arrived on scene and found 18-year-old Elijah Baker of Gloucester County, who had been shot in his torso.

Witnesses told authorities a group of people from Lancaster County, specifically the Merry Point area, showed up to the party uninvited. At some point during the night, one of them pulled out a gun and passed it around to other people in his group.

Witnesses then said that one person got into a verbal altercation with Baker and that other members of the group joined in and physically threatened the victim. One person from Lancaster County pulled out a gun, and the other members of the group tried to attack Baker.

A witness then pushed Baker into a room, where he tried to lock the door and escape through a window. As Baker was climbing out of the window, someone who had broken through the door punched Baker. Once Baker got out of the back window, he ran towards his truck that was parked in the backyard.

Witnesses then told deputies that when Baker got to his truck, the group of people ran out the back door to chase him. One witness said that when the group left the house, one person pointed a gun toward Baker’s truck and started shooting.

Other witnesses said they saw at least one other person shooting at Baker. Another eyewitness account said that another one of the group members was standing on a porch, pointing the gun at Baker.

After working through the night and well into the next evening, detectives identified six people from the group and have sought felony warrants for the following people:

  • Kemonte Deshaune Smith, 18, of White Stone, Virginia – 1st degree murder
  • Tariqu Joel Beane, 16, of Merry Point, Virginia – 1st degree murder, use of a firearm and brandishing a firearm (juvenile petition)
  • 3 other identified but unnamed juveniles – all charged with 1st degree murder by mob (juvenile petition)

As of Tuesday, officials said all suspects were in custody.

The investigation remains ongoing. A Gofundme account was set up to help the Baker family with funeral expenses, click here to view the campaign.

Anyone who has information about this case is asked to call the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office Crime Line at call (804) 758-5600.

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