Suffolk teens arrested in Windsor shooting

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WINDSOR – Two juveniles from Suffolk have been arrested in connection with a shooting on Saturday at the Windsor School of Dance, which seriously wounded another teenager.

Police are looking for a third 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.

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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, he said.

Police said warrants also have been issued for 21-year-old Dijon Quartez Elliott of Nancy Drive for conspiracy to commit a felony, accessory to the commission of a felony, and gang-related offenses. Elliott is described as a black male, 5’6” tall, who weighs 160 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

Porti said additional suspects could be involved.

He said in a press release that the investigation had revealed 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 at about 11 p.m. Saturday. While on the way to the scene, they received word that shots had been fired.

The building, situated a half-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 in stable condition on Tuesday.

Porti said multiple bullet casings were recovered from the scene, but he 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 that anyone with information regarding this crime or about Elliott’s location contact the Isle of Wight County Crime Line at 357-5555, or the Windsor Police Department at 357-2151.