More Information on the Multiple Shootings in Tobyhanna, Coolbaugh Township on 01/18/2021
On 1/18/2021 at approximately 1705 hours, the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department was dispatched to a report of shots fired in the area of the Tobyhanna Shopping Center. Initial investigation identified what appears to be a road rage incident that began as two vehicles were exiting A Pocono Country Place onto SR 196, a vehicle described as a dark colored Volvo cut off another vehicle as it was turning onto SR196 and then the occupants of the Volvo opened fire on the other vehicle. The other vehicle identified as a Black Mercedes driven by William Freeman and with a passenger John Williams, tried to evade getting hit with gunfire and headed south on SR 196. The Volvo spun around and chased after Freeman's vehicle down SR 196 and again shot at Freeman and his passenger in the area of Wilson Court. Freeman turned around once again and headed north on SR 196 to the Tobyhanna shopping center where they were able to stop, arm themselves, and return fire as the Volvo continued chasing them into the lot. Freeman and Williams returned fire into the Volvo which then left the area. Freeman and Williams provided statements that were consistent with evidence located on scene and their vehicle sustained impacts from gunfire that came from the Volvo. Police also located video to corroborate their statements and received numerous 911 calls related to the (3) incidents of gunfire. Inside of Freeman's vehicle, (2) firearms were observed in plain view.
While responding Officers arrived in the area of the Tobyhanna Shopping Center to investigate, they heard another series of gunshots coming from within the A Pocono Country Place (APCP) community and shortly thereafter, received additional 911 calls about a shooting into a residence at 5330 Ledgewood Drive where a female named Sherra Pettigrew and her son Jonathan Marshall had been struck by gunfire in their home. Officers and emergency medical professionals responded to the scene and found evidence that the house had been hit and fired into several times by gunfire. Pettigrew was shot in her back and Marshall was struck in the arm and both were transported to Lehigh Valley Pocono for treatment. Video surveillance was located that showed the shooting on Ledgewood where two males, one armed with a rifle and the other a handgun aggressed into the driveway and opened fire into the home with several rounds. Other video surveillance revealed a dark Volvo sedan that had entered the street just before the shooting occurs and the driver exits with a rifle and heads towards the Ledgewood address and then is seen leaving the area and heading back farther (north/west) deeper into the community. While this scene was being investigated, Officers received several more 911 calls related to the shooting and at approximately 1730 hours, a 911 call came in related to a male that was struck in the head by gunfire in the area of Tobyhanna Shopping Center. This male has been identified as Courtney Newman and he was located in a white BMW and occupied by three females named Wendolyn Rodriguez, Jehlayah Blondell, and Anajanay Watson. The three females alleged that they found the victim on SR 196 with the head injury but did not know him nor what had happened to him and that they were just trying to help him and get him to a hospital before calling 911 themselves. Newman was transported to Lehigh Valley Pocono by emergency medical professionals with a life-threatening gunshot wound to the head. All three females came to PMRPD HQ where they were interviewed.
At approximately 1756 hours Officers were dispatched to another report of shots fired in the area of 2115 Hampshire Drive in Pocono Farms East. Officers located a male with an apparent gunshot wound to the leg. This male was identified as Dajon Stacks. Stacks eventually provided a statement that he was at the address of 2115 Hampshire Drive to purchase marijuana when he was shot while exiting the home. Stacks arrived at the location with two friends identified as Kau Florez and James Maurice. Both advised that they heard several shots and Stacks returned with a gunshot wound. They attempted to get away from the area and crashed the car into a ditch due to icy roads. The vehicle was identified as a grey Kia Sorrento. While investigating this scene, Officers learned that the home belonged to Dominique Magloire and Louis Fantauzzi. Magloire was interviewed and revealed that there was video surveillance on the home which captured the shooting and could be accessed through her cellular phone. Magloire showed police video of when Stacks got shot and she confirmed that her boyfriend, Fantauzzi, does sell marijuana and that there is marijuana and a firearm in the home, as well as her (3) children ages females 13(LF), 13(LF), and a 8(LF) year old boy. During this initial investigation, Detectives also learned that Fantauzzi had an additional relationship and a recent baby with Pettigrew's daughter named Tashay Marshall. Interviews with Marshall revealed that Fantauzzi had a beef with a male named Laron Watson whom had reportedly shot up Fantauzzi's home over the summer.
While the three females were being interviewed at PMRPD , Watson's brother and cousin, identified as Laron Watson and Soladin Hamilton arrived at Police HQ. Laron was driving the dark in color Volvo sedan. The vehicle had what appeared to be bullet strikes to the windshield and blood evidence inside of the car. Laron was interviewed but denied being involved in a shooting incident and provided statements that the bullet hole happened at an earlier date in the Bronx and that the blood in the back seat was from his girlfriend's menstrual cycle.
Hamilton was interviewed and provided a statement that he was at his home that he shares with his girlfriend, Wendolyn Rodriguez. He identified this location as 6582 Linden Drive in APCP. He advised that he received a call and FACETIME video of their friend, identified as Courtney Newman, with a gunshot wound to the head. He advised that Laron, Aja Nay, and Jahlayah came to his home and he helped them move Newman from the Volvo to the BMW and his girlfriend was supposed to drive Newman to the hospital for treatment.
Following his interview, the females were all re-interviewed. Aja Nay provided statements that during the initial contact that they had with Freeman's Mercedes, they believed the vehicle to belong to Fantauzzi and that is why Laron began firing at the car. After the first shooting, she switched seats with Laron and drove the vehicle, chasing after the Mercedes while Laron was shooting at the vehicle. While chasing the vehicle they ended up in the Tobyhanna shopping Center where the Mercedes returned fire and she thought that she got hit at one point but turned around and saw that it was Newman that was bleeding profusely from his head and face area. Aja Nay advised that, Laron, Newman, Jahlayah, and her 15 year old boyfriend were in the vehicle during the shootout. During the interview with Jahlayah she provided false information in reference to who was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
Hamilton was re-interviewed following the new information developed from the females. He admitted that he, Laron, and Ja'Sir went to the Ledgewood address following the females leaving with Newman for the hospital. He advised that Laron and Ja'Sir got out of the vehicle with guns and went and shotup the house. He advised that he heard several gunshots and that following the shooting, when they returned to the car, they went directly to Smith's house at 8159 Mayfair Drive. Surveillance video of the shooting is consistent with the general physical description of Laron and the 15 year old juvenile, such as size, height and weight. Hamilton advised that he left the residence with Smith, separate from Laron, who left the residence with the 15 year old juvenile. He advised that he and Smith crashed in Smith's car and he walked back to Smith's house where Laron returned by himself and then they left together to get gas, then travelled to PMC looking to check on Newman, then they learned that the females were here at PMRPD HQ, so they came to the station.
The 15 year old juvenile was located and also interviewed by Police. He provided statements to police that he were consistent with others in the Watson vehicle and he admitted to being present for all of the shooting incidents except for the last one related to Dejon Stacks. He admitted that he was one of the shooters at the initial shooting scene at SR 196 and Country Place Drive. He advised that he had a pistol and fired only one round out of the Watson vehicle. He advised that he placed his pistol inside of the glove box inside the Volvo, but doesn't know where it went from there. He denied being a shooter at the Ledgewood location, stating that it was Hamilton that got out of the car with a firearm, along with Laron who also had a firearm and that it was them shooting into 5330 Ledgewood, not him. He advised that he stayed in the car. He confirmed that the shooting occurred because they believed that the black Mercedes belonged to Fantauzzi and Tashay.
Additional investigation revealed that Tashay Marshall, Fantauzzi's paramour, operates a black Mercedes sedan that looks very similar to Freeman's vehicle that was shot up by Watson and his associates.
Hamilton was interviewed once again and confronted with the surveillance video and statements provided by the 15 year old juvenile and others involved in this incident and admitted he went to the house on Ledgewood and shot into the home along with Laron. Hamilton stated after they shot into the home and returned to the vehicle where the 15 year old juvenile was waiting they traveled to the house on Mayfair where he and the 15 year old juvenile got a ride from Quadeen Smith however crashed into a ditch while leaving the community and he walked away while the 15 year old juvenile remained on scene. Hamilton stated he had a 9mm pistol when he shot into the house and Laron was also with him shooting into the house where the two individuals were struck by gunfire.
Charges against Laron Watson and Soladin Hamilton include several counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and firing into a dwelling. A juvenile, aged 15, is being charged as an adult with two counts of attempted homicide and related offense. Aja'nay WATSON, age 19, is being charged with conspiracy to commit homicide for operating the Volvo chasing the first set of victims down Route 196 as the males fired at the vehicle. Jahlayah Blondell, age 20, is being charged with Hindering the Apprehension of another. All defendants are being charged as principals and accomplices. The charges have been approved by Mike Mancuso First Assistant District Attorney.
All five defendants reside in Tobyhanna, PA.