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Archive for Saturday, September 30, 1995

POLICE IDENTIFY OTTAWA SHOOTING SUSPECT

September 30, 1995

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— The key suspect in an Ottawa homicide investigation has been identified.

Authorities on Friday identified a teen-ager suspected of shooting and killing a 14-year-old Ottawa girl here on Sunday.

Ottawa Police Chief Jeff Herrman announced that a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Nathan Lee Earwood, 16, on counts of first-degree murder, attempted aggravated battery, conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and felony possession of a firearm.

Herrman said Earwood had been placed on the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's most-wanted list in connection with the slaying of Stephanie Perez.

He described Earwood as Hispanic, 5-feet-6 and 140 pounds, with tattoos of the Star of David on his right biceps, a cross on his left thumb, three dots on his left wrist and a gun and pitchfork on the back of his left shoulder.

Earwood is believed to be a Topeka resident, Herrman said. He urged anyone who knows the whereabouts of Earwood, who authorities consider armed and dangerous, to call the Ottawa Police Department at 913-242-1700, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office at 913-242-3800 or the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

Once Earwood is located, Herrman said, "I'm confident that the Franklin County attorney's office will start proceedings to ensure Nathan Earwood will be prosecuted as an adult if at all possible."

As of Friday afternoon, eight teens had been detained in the shooting, which occurred at a southwest Ottawa apartment where Stephanie and her family were living.

Seven of the eight teens are named on juvenile complaints alleging attempted aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. The other is being prosecuted as an adult on the same charges.

The teens were reputed gang members who called themselves the Mexican Mafia.

Authorities said Earwood and the other teens went to the apartment to start a fight with Stephanie's brothers, who they considered rival gang members. Stephanie, who police described as an innocent bystander, died after being struck in the chest by a .22 caliber bullet.

Herrman said the shooting had sparked numerous reports and rumors of violence and retaliation.

He said authorities were taking the threats "very seriously."

"When these parties are identified, we'll charge them," he said.

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