From left to right, Antonio Perry, Michael Clark, Travis Stines, Ashley Browning and April Gonzalez. Mugshots provided by Kingsport police.
KINGSPORT — Five people have been arrested after a Kingsport woman feared they were on a "killing mission" to her home, spurred by her child's wearing blue to the Bristol home of his father, an alleged Bloods gang member loyal to the color red.
The suspects were apprehended Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop near the victim's apartment. An officer reports receiving "contradicting reasons" for why the five were near the woman's home, and based on the evidence provided -— which included a gun and ammo in the vehicle — charges of aggravated assault were levied against them all.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. a resident of Eastline Drive reported the incident to police. She claimed that Travis D. Stines, 25, of Court Drive in Bristol, Va., who is the father of her son, had been sending her threatening messages via telephone and text.
The woman told police Stines was angry because she had sent their son to his home wearing blue clothing. Blue is associated with the Crips gang, according to the police report, while Stines "claims to be a Blood, which is represented by the color red."
The victim, 21, went on to tell police that she "had heard" Stines and other individuals were coming to her residence in a Nissan Altima to "kill her and her children."
A pair of Kingsport officers took the woman's complaint and left her apartment complex, parking nearby. Within five minutes, they spotted the suspects' vehicle, with none of the five occupants wearing a seatbelt.
A subsequent traffic stop found Stines to be one of the passengers. The driver, April N. Gonzalez, 34, of Virginia Avenue in Bristol, Tenn., told police there were no weapons in the vehicle and consented to a search. Police say that in the trunk, near the pass-through compartment to the rear passenger seats, they located a .44 Windsor Blackhawk and ammunition.
Gonzalez reportedly stated that one of the occupants, Michael R. Clark, 26, of 34th Street in Bristol, Tenn., had asked that she pop the trunk when she picked him up. She claimed to be "just giving" Stines and Clark a ride to Kingsport.
Gonzalez' boyfriend, Antonio Perry, 24, of Virginia Avenue in Bristol, Tenn., told police he had only gone along because his girlfriend was driving. Passenger Ashley Browning, 30, of Trivetts Private Drive, Bristol, Tenn., reportedly stated that they were originally going to Lynn Garden, then decided to drive by the victim's apartment "to see if she was home."
Stines allegedly admitted to police that he had been arguing with his child's mother over the phone "all day," but had no intention of going to her apartment. Police say he later changed his story, saying he was going there to "check on his children."
The victim provided police with a written statement, claiming all the suspects were "on a killing mission" and would have murdered both her and her children.
All five of the individuals were arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The three backseat passengers, Stines, Clark and Browning, were additionally charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.