Topeka man arrested on suspicion of killing 3 people in downtown Lawrence
The man police believe is responsible for Lawrence’s first triple homicide in at least 15 years is now in custody.
Anthony Laron Roberts Jr., a 20-year old Topeka resident, was taken into custody on Wednesday in connection with an Oct. 1 downtown Lawrence shooting that left three people dead.
Roberts was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Kansas City, Mo., the Lawrence Police Department announced Wednesday afternoon. He is awaiting extradition to the Douglas County Jail where he will be booked on suspicion of one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder.
Roberts is the third suspect arrested in relation to the crime, which left three people dead and two injured as part of a shooting incident that included more than 20 gunshots on Massachusetts Street in the early morning hours of Oct. 1.
Topeka residents Ahmad Malik Rayton, 22, and Dominique Jacquez McMillon, 19, were arrested Monday.
Rayton was charged with attempted second-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. McMillon was charged with aggravated assault and battery.
The three people killed in the Oct. 1 shootings were Leah Elizabeth Brown, 22, of Shawnee; Colwin Lynn Henderson, 20, of Topeka; and Tremel Dupree Dean-Rayton, 24, also of Topeka.
Two other people were shot but not killed in the crime. They are Royelle Hunt, a 28-year old Topeka resident, and Tahzay Rayton, a 19-year old Topeka man.
Police said Wednesday evening that their investigation was ongoing. Anyone with information about the incident can call Lawrence police at 832-7509 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers of Lawrence and Douglas County at 843-TIPS (8477).
In a press release, Lawrence police said they were uncertain when Roberts would be extradited.
Police have previously said they believe at least one of the victims was intentionally targeted in the attack, which is consistent with the first-degree murder charge in the case. First-degree murder involves premeditation of the crime.
Police also have said “other individuals were bystanders in the area.”
It was not immediately clear what, if any, connection Roberts had to the victims. It does appear, though, that the other two defendants in the case had connections to at least some of the victims.
Ahmad Rayton’s Facebook profile shows that he had been Facebook friends with Henderson since October 2011, friends with Dean-Rayton since October 2014 and friends with Tahzay Rayton since December 2012.
According to the Facebook page of McMillon, he is friends with Tahzay Rayton.
Court documents from Shawnee County show that Ahmad Rayton and McMillon both had been in jail just weeks prior to the downtown Lawrence shootings. However, a criminal history for Roberts in Shawnee County wasn’t immediately apparent. A Topeka media report from 2015 indicated Roberts had been booked into the Shawnee County jail in connection with a “chapter 38 court order.” Chapter 38 of the Kansas code deals with minors, juvenile court and other such issues. However, a search of the Shawnee County District Court’s online records system did not show any charges other than a traffic violation for Roberts.