Posted on August 17, 2004

One Arrested In Drive-By Shooting Case

Reed Williams, Daily Progress (Va.), August 12, 2004

Acting on a tip from a local narcotics detective, Arlington police on Wednesday apprehended one of three Charlottesville men charged in a drive-by shooting incident last month in Staunton.

Authorities apprehended Howard Deshawn Ewell, 21, of 706 Franklin St., at his mother’s Arlington home at about 3:30 p.m., according to Officer Amy Pultz of the Staunton Police Department.

Ewell a k a “Pluck” is charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, Pultz said. The charges stem from a July 7 incident in which someone fired several shots at Lloyd Michael Matthews, 25, outside his Staunton home, but missed him.

Staunton police were questioning Ewell late Wednesday night and planned to later transport him to the Augusta County Jail.

Detective Harry Shaffer of the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force in Charlottesville was working with Staunton police to locate the three local suspects. On Wednesday, he received the tip that led to Ewell’s arrest.

Authorities were still looking for Joniel R. Edwards a k a “Shista” and Duane Carey Washington, also known as “Nut.” Edwards, 21, of 710 Orangedale Avenue, and Washington, 25, of Riverdale Avenue, both are charged with attempted murder.

Staunton police already had arrested Rashod Deon Grooms, 19, and Elvira Janet Oliver, 28, both of Waynesboro, and charged them with attempted murder in connection with the July 7 incident.

According to Staunton police, the attack on Matthews started with an argument he wasn’t even involved in.

He told authorities that four women approached him because he had been watching them across the street having an argument.

“Matthews was in his yard setting off fireworks,” Pultz said, “when several females confronted him and said, ‘What are you looking at?’”

Witnesses told authorities the women were carrying either sticks or baseball bats and that one told Matthews she would “contact some people from New York and have him taken care of,” according to a police affidavit.

A woman then called someone on a cell phone and they left. A half-hour later, the women walked back toward Matthews’ house with two unknown men and a white Mitsubishi following them, according to the police affidavit.

As the women approached the house, one yelled at Matthews: “Don’t run now because you’re about to die,” the affidavit says.

The Mitsubishi pulled up and a rear window opened. A man said, “White boy, I’m going to kill you” and then fired several shots, according to the affidavit. The car drove away and the women fled.

Authorities later recovered six shell casings from a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol at the scene.

Staunton police charged three Staunton women last month with obstruction of justice in connection with the events of July 7, alleging that the women were uncooperative with the investigation. Authorities declined to elaborate on their involvement.

Police identified the three women as are Christi Allen, 21, of 1226 Stack St.; Arlene Oliver, 32, of 62 Lincoln Square; and Denise Brown, 22, of 108 Miller St. The women were free on bond Wednesday, but they could not be reached for comment.