Police arrest 2 juveniles in shooting

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WINDSOR—Two juveniles from Suffolk have been arrested in connection with Saturday’s shooting at the Windsor School of Dance, which seriously wounded a teenager. Police are looking for a third, 21-year-old suspect from Suffolk, and could possibly be searching for others involved in the crime.

According to a statement from the Windsor Police Department, the two juveniles face charges of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting from a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit a felony, unlawful possession of a firearm, shooting at an occupied building, and discharging a firearm in a public place. Additional charges are reportedly pending.

Robert Porti, the town’s chief of police, said one juvenile was arrested Tuesday morning, and the other Tuesday afternoon. They are being held at the Tidewater Detention Home in Chesapeake, Porti said.

Police said warrants have been issued for a third suspect — Dijon Quartez Elliott, of Nancy Drive in Suffolk — for conspiracy to commit a felony, accessory to the commission of a felony, and gang related offenses. Elliott is described as an African American male, 5’6” tall, who weighs 160 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

Porti said additional suspects may possibly be involved.

The investigation into the shooting has reportedly revealed that the incident is connected to criminal street gang activity in Suffolk.

Town police first received a report of a fight in progress at the Windsor School of Dance, 70 East Windsor Blvd., at about 11 p.m. Saturday. While en-route to the scene, police received word that shots had been fired.

The building, situated half a mile from the police station, is a dance studio that is also sometimes rented out for private parties. Police said that at the time of the shooting, the facility was being rented out for a birthday party.

Authorities found that during the course of the evening, the party had grown to more than 200 people. At about 11 p.m., police said a large fight broke out in the parking lot. Sometime during the altercation, about 12 to 15 shots were fired into the crowd.

A 17-year-old boy from Suffolk, whose name was withheld by authorities, was seriously wounded when a bullet struck him in the left pelvic area. The victim was transported by medical helicopter from the scene to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital. Porti said the victim was is stable condition Tuesday.

Porti said multiple bullet casings were recovered from the scene, but declined to go into specifics, citing the ongoing investigation. J.A. Todd, Jr., a police officer with the town, said Monday that the shots were fired from handguns.

“Due to unavoidable circumstances, we are closed this week,” a handwritten letter taped to the front door of the dance studio said on Monday. “We apologize for the inconvenience.” Rhonda Demsko, one of the business’ co-owners, declined to comment on the incident Tuesday.

Authorities are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime, or who know the whereabouts of Elliott, to please contact the Isle of Wight County Crime Line at (757) 357-5555 or the Windsor Police Department at (757) 357-2151.