MASSENA Devian J. Fletcher told village police he initially picked up a gun Wednesday to defend himself against another New York City man he knew as Problem.
But Mr. Fletcher also was looking to confront Patrick R. Lloyd over an alleged kidnapping incident in Massena last month, according to court documents.
Those admissions have police and community leaders fearing an escalating cycle of drug-fueled violence.
Were very lucky that yesterday wasnt a homicide, village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said Thursday. Yesterdays crime was a connection to previous criminal activity, and we are concerned about retaliation.
Mr. Fletcher, 19, admitted in a written statement that he shot at a car carrying Mr. Lloyd, 25, and Mr. Lloyds girlfriend, Miranda M. Green, 18, Massena. The two are suspects in the alleged attempted abduction Feb. 16 of Catherine A. Berry, 17, of 66 Liberty Ave., whom Mr. Fletcher described as a friend.
Wednesdays gunfire was followed by a seven-hour standoff at the Liberty Avenue home, three people jailed and one other person released following questioning. Ms. Green was cut by flying glass, the only reported injury.
Patrick is trying to kill me since I been here, Mr. Fletcher said, adding that he wanted to confront Problem over the alleged incident with Ms. Berry and because he has also been giving us problems all the time.
All three people already were facing charges in St. Lawrence County Court Mr. Lloyd and Ms. Green for the alleged kidnapping attempt, and Mr. Fletcher in connection with an alleged attempted break-in at a Haskell Street home in December.
Before his arrest in connection with Wednesdays shooting, Mr. Fletcher had been free under probation supervision pending further proceedings. St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards placed Ms. Green under probation supervision following arraignment Monday, while Mr. Lloyd is free on bail pending arraignment next week.
Mr. Lloyds ability to post $6,500 cash bail and be back on the streets literally minutes after his arraignment on criminal mischief and unlawful imprisonment charges in February prompted Mr. Currier earlier this month to lash out at a justice system that couldnt detain a suspect who he said has 25 arrests, including 11 felonies, on his rap sheet.
People in our community with long histories of criminal offenses are not being locked up, Mr. Currier said Thursday. Im concerned about all parties involved and innocent people being hurt.
Mayor James F. Hidy agreed.
I hope it sends a clear message that these types of people need to be put away, Mr. Hidy said.
Except that it wasnt Mr. Lloyd and Ms. Green who were arrested Wednesday; rather it was Mr. Fletcher and two other people.
Mr. Fletcher was charged with first-degree attempted assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree menacing. He was arraigned before Justice James M. Crandall and committed to the St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, without bail.
Kate J. Javier, 19, of 66 Liberty Ave., was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with evidence, criminal impersonation and forgery after she allegedly lied to police under questioning about the incident. She also was jailed without bail.
A third person, Jeffrey J. Clukey, 41, Solvay, who told police he was visiting, was taken into custody on a fourth-degree grand larceny warrant from Solvay. Mr. Clukey was arraigned Thursday morning and jailed in Onondaga County without bail.
A fourth person who initially was held will not be charged, Mr. Currier said, and that persons name was not released.
Illicit drugs remain the underlying thread in Massenas growing crime problem, officials said.
Mr. Lloyds rap sheet includes numerous drug offenses, while Mr. Fletcher and Ms. Green recently failed drug tests required as part of their arraignments on county charges.
Massena officials did see some reason for optimism Thursday, being pleased that Mr. Fletcher and Ms. Javier were held without bail, and praising the St. Lawrence County district attorneys office for its cooperation.
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Botts worked closely with police Wednesday and was present for the arraignments, where he recommended Judge Crandall send Mr. Fletcher and Ms. Javier to jail without bail.
Im very appreciative of having them involved in this, Mr. Currier said.
District Attorney Nicole M. Duvé said she would not speak about any particular case while it is pending, but said her office will continue to be committed to working closely with law enforcement to do all that we can to address these issues and hold these people accountable.
My office is very aware of the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies and communities throughout St. Lawrence County as a result of the influx of drug dealers from larger metropolitan areas outside the county and the assistance they are given by certain local residents who are looking to feed their addiction and ensure a continued supply of drugs, Ms. Duvé said.