FRESNO, Calif. - Police arrested a college student Tuesday suspected of opening fire in an off-campus apartment during a dispute over a video game console, killing one man and wounding two others.
Jonquel Brooks, a freshman at California State University, Fresno, was arrested on suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon following a manhunt by police and federal agents in the neighborhoods surrounding the university.
"The suspect had altered his appearance significantly," Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. "He shaved his head and also changed his clothing apparently in an attempt to avoid being recognized."
One of the wounded men, returning home with a bloody bandage on his left shoulder, said the dispute started Monday night when he and the other victims accused Brooks of stealing a Sony Playstation console and game.
"The guy who shot us - he had stolen from our apartment. We went to confront him with the evidence and it just turned ugly from there. He pulled a gun out on us," said Drew Pfeiff, 22, of Raleigh, N.C. "People don't deserve to die for stupid stuff like this."
The gunman fired five or six times, grazing Pfeiff.
Brooks, of Hayward, was being held in lieu of $3 million bail.
His defense attorney, David Mugridge, said Brooks received a grazing wound to his upper right thigh, which required treatment at a hospital.
"If anything, this was an issue of self-defense, " Mugridge said.
Meosha Chase, 19, said she was Brooks' ex-girlfriend and described him as a "fine, normal, goofy, silly" teen who wanted to be a parole officer. His principal at Hayward High School, Mary Anne Heather, said Brooks was a well-liked student who "stood for his personality and his drive and determination. For him to do this is inconceivable."
Police said the shooting occurred in Brooks' apartment but spilled into a hallway. Police said everyone involved lived in the same apartment complex, located just north of the Fresno State football stadium.
The Fresno County Coroner's Office identified the deceased victim as a Brant Daniels, 19, who had moved from the Los Angeles area to attend Fresno State but was not a current student. Police identified the two wounded men as Fresno State student Roderick Buycks, 19, and Pfeiff, who police said is not enrolled at the university.
The two men were treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds and later released. Dyer said police received a call around 4 a.m. from Brooks' mother, who told officers her son was on the other line and wanted to negotiate his surrender. After hours of three-way conversations, Brooks arranged to turn himself in at 9 a.m. at Fresno police headquarters, where his father was waiting, but the suspect didn't appear. Police eventually tracked Brooks to an apartment in southeast Fresno, about eight miles from where the shooting took place. After some negotiation Brooks surrendered without incident. (AP) Associated Press Writers Marcus Wohlsen in San Francisco, Olivia Munoz in Fresno and Jordan Robertson in Hayward contributed to this report. AP-CS-05-08-07 2116EDTcomments powered by Disqus