3 men arrested in fatal shooting of Milwaukee girl, 5
Oct. 20, 2015
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Three men have been arrested in the fatal shooting of a 5-year-old girl who was killed while sitting on her grandfather's lap at his Milwaukee home, police said Tuesday.
Two of the men, motivated by revenge in another crime, fired numerous gunshots into the home last November, but they had targeted the wrong house, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said. The house they were looking for was four blocks away, he said. Laylah Peterson was shot to death.
Laylah's grandmother, Margarita Fogl, told police that she, her husband, Laylah and another granddaughter were sitting in the front living room watching TV on Nov. 6 when the house was sprayed with gunfire, according to a criminal complaint charging the three men. She said her husband, Robert Fogl, was holding Laylah and tried to protect her as they dropped to the floor, but that her granddaughter had been shot in the head.
Carl L. Barrett, Jr., 20, and Arlis W. Gordon, 23, are charged with party to first-degree reckless homicide. Paul T. Farr, 24, is accused of driving the vehicle to the house and is charged with harboring or aiding a felon. All three men are from Milwaukee.
The complaint alleges that Gordon was seeking revenge against a man he believed had been wrongly acquitted in the killing of someone he referred to as his brother. Gordon and Barrett fired into the house believing it was occupied by that man or his girlfriend, according to the complaint.
They later learned they had targeted the wrong house and that they had killed Laylah.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Laylah's father, R.J. Petersen, thanked police for their work on his daughter's behalf.
"Last night I got the first peaceful night's sleep that I've had in a very long time, and I would just like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for finally bringing some justice for Laylah," Petersen said.
Flynn said he had carried a photo button of Laylah since shortly after the shooting and that he and other members of the police department were personally affected by the slaying.
"Occasionally, a case just kind of symbolizes the ... recklessness of all the worst of our other violence," a visibly emotional Flynn said. "And, I think when it particularly involves a small child, it kind of captures all of that built-up frustration that our members (officers) have. This is one of those cases that gripped everybody in this (police) district."
Pulling the photo button from his pocket, Flynn said: "we can put her to rest now."