VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) New information has surfaced in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Makiya Walls of Victorville.
Makiya was killed on August 9th, 2017, when a man armed with a shotgun walked up to her family’s house on Monaco Drive in Victorville at around 8:23 p.m. The gunman shot four rounds into the front living room window, then fled in a getaway car believed to be occupied by two women.
“Homicide Investigators were called to the scene Wednesday night and worked for many, many hours until they identified a suspect, 26-year-old Anthony Pitts,” Sheriff John McMahon announced in a news conference on Friday.
Pitts, a resident of Adelanto and a self-admitted gang-member, was taken into custody as he was leaving his mother’s house in Redlands.
Pitts’ girlfriend Danielle Cummings, 29, of Apple Valley, and her friend Reyna Mercado, 28, of San Bernardino, were also arrested in connection to Makiya’s murder.
On Tuesday, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges against the three suspects.
A Victorville judge entered not guilty pleas on behalf of the trio Tuesday morning. All three suspects had their bail set in the millions, with Pitts’ set at 1.75 million dollars, the highest of the three.
If convicted as charged, all three suspects face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
CHARGES NOT FILED AGAINST VICTIM’S MOTHER OR HER BOYFRIEND
Also, The DA’s office said they would not be filing charges against the victim’s mother, 35-year-old Maesha Lundy, or her 34-year-old boyfriend Christopher Hicks, who were both arrested for making felony Terrorist Threats.
The threats were reported by Cummings the day after the shooting and before being arrested on charges of murder.
“The victim, Danielle Cummings, stated the calls began on August 9, 2017, around 9:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. on August 10th. She identified the callers as Maesha Lundy and Christopher Hicks. and provided deputies with recorded telephone conversations,” Sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies believed the threats were credible and authored arrest warrants for both Lundy and Hicks, who were both at a Victorville hotel on Friday, August 11th at 12:30 a.m. and taken into custody without incident.
Lundy and Hicks were both released from jail, court records show.
According to the source, the feud began months ago when an ongoing affair ended ugly.
Sheriff’s officials said the victim’s family and the suspects were involved in a months-long feud that led to an altercation earlier in the day; then the shooting happened later that night.
Although officials did not say what the feud was over, a person familiar with the situation said it all started over an affair that ended ugly.
“I worked with Christopher Hicks at the Nordstrom distribution center where he was having an affair with Danielle Cummings,” said an employee who wished to remain anonymous.
“They didn’t hide their relationship at work, we all knew about it. We also knew Chris had a girlfriend outside of work and Danielle had a boyfriend, who is the suspected gunman we only knew as Gutter,” the source said.
The employee said Hicks and Cummings were both let go from Nordstrom towards the end of July.
“Danielle ended the affair, but she and Chris would fight at work, so Danielle told HR that Chris was harassing her and he was let go. Nordstrom has a zero-tolerance for bullying” the employee said.
The source told Victor Valley News that Makiya’s mother went to the distribution center to threaten Cummings after learning that Hicks was fired. In return, Cummings was also said to have been fired after making threats while on the job.
After Hicks and Cummings allegedly lost their jobs at the warehouse, the feud seemed to have escalated online, but this time, it was between Danielle’s friend Reyna Mercado (referred to online as Nechi Walker) and Lundy.
The two exchanged public messages on a Facebook post with one another on July 30th, ten days before the shooting. Mercado at one point made threats of burning down the house with “kids and all” and saying she won’t leave with people “still breathing”.
The post attracted nearly 120 comments from the feuding woman and a couple of their friends that joined in the online quarrel.
Makiya’s mother’s alleged Facebook profile responded to the threats by providing her home address and telling Mercado to “come over.”
“Once again, we have an innocent child caught in the crossfire,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “A young life taken away, far too soon.
“We can’t bring her back, but I can promise one thing. Our office, our prosecutors, our victim advocates and all of our support staff, will work tirelessly like we do in every case to be the voice for young Makiya. She deserves nothing less than justice. We will hold these individuals accountable for their despicable actions,” Ramos said.