|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - December 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Shooting incident ends with 1 arrest
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – A 20-year-old Trinity man was arrested on drug and weapons charges Sunday following a shooting incident reported near the intersection of Smith and Church streets in Trinity. According to Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones, Demetrius “Gerb” Wheeler was released after posting bonds totaling $19,000 on charges of possession of marijuana, unlawfully carrying a weapon and theft of a firearm. The incident began shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday when police received a report of gunshots in the Smith Street area. Officers Randy Wheeler and Justin Sykes responded. Jones said the area where the shots were reported has seen a lot of drug activity and that a number of drug-related arrests have been made in that vicinity. When officers arrived at the shooting scene, they found no one injured and no suspects in the area. They did recover 10 shell casings on the ground in an area where the shooting was reported. They also learned that two, possibly three vehicles, had left the area carrying people who might have been involved. A description of the vehicles was broadcast and other area law enforcement agencies were asked to help locate the suspect vehicles. At about 11:40 p.m., Pct. 1 deputy constables Ricky Pope and Mark Cole spotted a car matching the description of one of the suspect vehicles and stopped it south of Trinity on Highway 19. Jones said that when the deputy constables approached the car, they could detect the aroma of marijuana. They held the suspect vehicle at that location until Wheeler and the Trinity Police Department’s drug detection dog, Eric, could arrive. When the dog “alerted,” indicating he could also smell the drugs, officers were able to search the vehicle. They discovered a small amount of marijuana along with a handgun matching the caliber of the 10 spent shell casing found at the earlier shooting. The driver of the suspect car, Wheeler, was then taken into custody, the police chief said. A subsequent check on the handgun revealed that it had been reported as stolen in Walker County. Jones said the suspect has provided police with a statement indicating that he was involved in the Smith Street shooting incident but claimed he was acting in self defense. While no charges have yet been filed in connection with the shooting, Jones said he would let District Attorney Joe Ned Dean review the evidence to determine how he wanted to proceed.