The Latest: Suspect in shooting of his infant son surrenders

11 months 5 days 16 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 9:16:00 AM CDT in News
By: The Associated Press

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the shooting death of an 8-month-old boy in St. Louis (all times local):

11 a.m.

The man wanted in connection with the shooting death of his 8-month-old son in St. Louis has surrendered.

Police say 34-year-old Diata Crockett turned himself in to his lawyer Wednesday morning and is now in custody. Police offered no further details about the surrender.

The shooting happened Tuesday. Police say Crockett forced his wife and three young children into a rental car at gunpoint. As the car was slowing in an industrial area of north St. Louis, the woman tried to get out. Crockett fired a shot that police believe was aimed at her, but instead struck the couple's infant son.

He fled with the couple's two other sons, ages 2 and 3. They were later found safe at a relative's home, and the car was found abandoned Tuesday evening in nearby Ferguson.

10 a.m.

The mother of a St. Louis-area man accused of fatally shooting his 8-month-old son and driving off with his two other young children is urging him to surrender.

Police say Diata Crockett, 34, was likely aiming for the infant's mother when he shot the boy in her arms Tuesday in north St. Louis. Police resumed their search for Crockett Wednesday, and warned that the suspect with a long criminal record should be considered armed and dangerous.

Crockett fled with the couple's other two children, ages 2 and 3, but they were found safe at a home in the St. Louis County town of Bellefontaine Neighbors later Tuesday. By that evening, the rented Hyundai Sonata he had been driving was found in Ferguson, in the same Canfield Green apartment complex where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2014.

Diata Crockett's mother, Casetta Crockett, speaking to KMOV-TV, said he must stop running for the sake of his surviving children.

"You need to turn yourself in," she said. "Talk to your attorney and come in ASAP. You have to set the record straight. We know you love your kids and you would never hurt them, so we know this was a horrible accident. You have to come in, if nothing else, you have to come in for your other kids."

Neighbors told police that Crockett and his wife, whose name was not released, were involved in a domestic dispute Tuesday at their home in Bellefontaine Neighbors. They said he forced the woman and three of their six children into the car at gunpoint.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the woman tried to get out of the car with the baby, Reign, in her arms as it slowed near an Interstate 270 exit ramp. Police believe Crockett shot at his wife but instead hit the infant.

She flagged down a passing motorist who drove her and the baby to a hospital with Crockett in pursuit. In an 11-minute 911 call, the unidentified Good Samaritan and the boy's mother can be heard saying: "He's trying to run us off the road. He's trying to cause an accident. He's following us," Dotson said.

Crockett's criminal record includes convictions for burglary, assault, drug-related charges, resisting arrest and forgery, online court records show. The Missouri Department of Corrections said he was imprisoned in June 2011 and given parole in December 2011. He violated that parole and has had a warrant for his arrest since January 2013, according to Corrections Department records.

Dotson said Crockett has threatened suicide and violence against his family in the past.

 

[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include more information.]

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