Fort Pierce police search for 4 suspects in Sunday night’s 1st homicide of year

ALEX BOERNER/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERSKisha Armstrong was with her son Toriell Roberts when he was shot after the two of them were approached by four suspects Sunday night near the intersection of Avenue E and 14th Street in Fort Pierce. Roberts was pronounced dead at a local trauma center.

Photo by Alex Boerner, Treasure Coast Newspapers

ALEX BOERNER/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS
Kisha Armstrong was with her son Toriell Roberts when he was shot after the two of them were approached by four suspects Sunday night near the intersection of Avenue E and 14th Street in Fort Pierce. Roberts was pronounced dead at a local trauma center.


ALEX BOERNER/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERSSandra Wilson, grandmother of Toriell Roberts, holds a photo of Roberts Monday afternoon. Roberts was killed Sunday night after being shot near the intersection of Avenue E and 14th Street in Fort Pierce.

Photo by Alex Boerner, Treasure Coast Newspapers

ALEX BOERNER/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS
Sandra Wilson, grandmother of Toriell Roberts, holds a photo of Roberts Monday afternoon. Roberts was killed Sunday night after being shot near the intersection of Avenue E and 14th Street in Fort Pierce.


FORT PIERCE — Kisha Armstrong, 33, felt for a pulse in her son, Toriell Roberts, after he fell to the ground from a gunshot wound along North 14th Street on Sunday night, she said.

The assailants ran away as she pleaded with her 18-year-old. “Please stay with me,” she recalled as she cried at her home on Monday.

But he died there on the roadside at 8:30 p.m. — the first fatality in of what has been a number of street shootings in Fort Pierce this year.

Police don’t know if the latest shooting — adjacent to the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on Avenue E — has any connection to the others. And so far no arrests have been made in the incident that Armstrong said was unexpected.

She and her Westwood High School senior were walking through a residential neighborhood, en route to her boyfriend’s house, when they passed a group of youths.

She heard her son say, “It’s me, Toriell.”

Then gunfire erupted in the 600 block of North 14th Street.

He yelled for his mother to run, but he was hit, taking a bullet from a handgun that could have hit her, she said at their home a mile from the shooting scene.

“He died saving me,” she said. She called 911, pleading for help. Her son was pronounced dead at the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute.

Police said they are looking for suspects described as black males between the ages of 16 and 18 with brown eyes and black hair. One is said to have dreadlocks; the others are said to have boxcut style hair.

After the shooting the four other people apparently ran east from 14th Street and Avenue E and officers were unable to find anyone in that area, according to police reports. People in the neighborhood either said they were not around at the time of the shooting or didn’t hear anything.

Now the family is trying to grasp why it happened.

“He loved everyone,” the mother said. He “was always respectable. He was all I lived for. He was in honor classes in school.” When he attended Gaines Academy he was in a special art program.

“He was not with a gang,” Armstrong said. She said he would tell other youths, “I am not with no body.

“Someone came and took him away from me,” the mother said. “I can’t sleep. I see him in my arms as I asked him to stay.”

Her mother and Roberts’ grandmother, Sandra Wilson, said the gunfire and shootings in Fort Pierce have to stop. “Enough is enough.”

This is the city’s first homicide of 2012. Fort Pierce had 11 homicides in 2011, of which five occurred by the end of June.

An apparently unrelated shooting July 25led to the arrest of Kevin Smith, 31, of an unknown address, on four counts of attempted murder. In that shooting in the 1600 block of North 29th Street, Smith is alleged to have been a passenger in a Volkswagen Jetta from which shots were fired in front of the Madison Cay apartment complex, according to police reports. Four people were treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.

On July 5 during the evening, a 19-year-old was shot in the neck by an unknown assailant while watching his friends play basketball near the Boys and Girls Club on 23rd Street, according to police reports.

Police quoted his friends as saying the victim was sitting down when they heard a loud pop about 10 a.m. and saw the victim grab his throat. He was treated at the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute. Days before that, a 23-year-old bicyclist apparently was shot in the elbow about 11:45 p.m. while riding past a group of people on a porch on North 23rd Street.

Through the end of June the city had 12 people shot non fatally, compared to 16 in the same period during 2011. During both April and May, there were five people shot per month.

And now Armstrong said her son will no longer some into her room, repeatedly saying, “ma, .ma, ma.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/jul/30/18-year-old-shot-sunday-night-fort-pierce-dies-hos/

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