“They Shot the Wrong House:” Three Arrested & Charged in Death of Five-Year-Old Laylah Petersen

Trisha Bee et al., Fox 6 (Milwaukee), October 21, 2015

Nearly a year after the tragic death of Laylah Petersen, on Tuesday, October 20th, Milwaukee police announced the arrest of three suspects–who have been charged in connection with Petersen’s death.

Laylah Petersen would have turned six years old on September 23rd. But her young life was cut short when she was shot while she was sitting on her grandfather’s lap inside a home near 58th and Fairmount on November 6, 2014.

Laylah Petersen

Laylah Petersen

Petersen died at the hospital, as a result of two gunshot wounds to her head. Her death was ruled a homicide.

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According to the complaint, 12 9mm casings were recovered from the scene, along with a total of seven deformed bullets/bullet fragments. A Wisconsin Crime Lab analysis of the 12 casings revealed two firearms were used in this shooting.

The three people charged in this case are: 24-year-old Paul Farr, 20-year-old Carl Barrett and 23-year-old Arlis Gordon. Police say Farr and Barrett were arrested on October 14th in Milwaukee. Gordon was arrested in suburban Chicago on October 17th on unrelated charges.

Farr has been charged with two counts of harboring/aiding a felon.  Barrett and Gordon have both been charged with first degree reckless homicide–party to a crime.

Carl Barrett, Arlis Gordon, Paul Farr

Carl Barrett, Arlis Gordon, Paul Farr

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Chief Flynn said on Tuesday the shooting death of Laylah Petersen occurred on the same day a man was acquitted in a murder trial in Milwaukee County–and Chief Flynn said the suspects “shot the wrong house.”

A criminal complaint filed against the three men charged in this case says Arlis Gordon was in court on November 6th, 2014 as a jury was deliberating in a homicide case. The complaint indicates Gordon was the homicide victim’s “brother.”

The complaint says during a break in the court proceedings, Gordon contacted a man and asked him to lend Gordon a firearm. Then, Gordon–accompanied by Barrett, met the man at Farr’s home, and the man gave Gordon a firearm.

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Late on the afternoon of November 6th, 2014, the jury deliberating in the homicide case acquitted the man facing charges–issuing a not guilty verdict.

Police say following the verdict, a man reported he ran into Gordon near Sherman and Villard–and said Gordon was “very upset,” and intoxicated. That man indicated Gordon was talking about his brother’s killer, and that he stated: “He killed my brother and he’s getting out! This can’t be going on. I’m gonna do something about it.”

The complaint says around dusk on November 6th, Gordon called Farr and told them “they could come get the gun.” Shortly thereafter, Farr, Barrett and another man got into Farr’s vehicle and drove to a location where Gordon’s family was gathering after the jury’s verdict was heard.

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The complaint says Gordon and Barrett exited the vehicle–and Farr and the other man stayed inside.

A few seconds later, the man in the vehicle with Farr told investigators he heard “a barrage of gunfire.”

Within seconds, Barrett and Gordon got back into the vehicle–and Farr drove away.

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The complaint indicates the fourth man who was with Gordon, Barrett and Farr on November 6th told investigators he encountered Barrett in jail–and Barrett told the man that “they meant to hit the house of Gordon’s brother’s killer, or the house where his baby’s mama stays, but that they shot into the wrong house.” Police say Gordon asked that the man “keep his mouth shut.”

The home of Gordon’s brother’s killer’s girlfriend is four blocks from the scene of the homicide (at 54th and Fairmount), according to police.

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