Fayetteville police have arrested the final suspect sought in connection with a November 2011 home invasion at 232 N. Olive Ave. that left one burglar dead and another man shot.
Police said detectives have spent the past several months investigating the case which led to the arrest Tuesday of Steve Crawford, 23, of Fayetteville, on charges of Aggravated Residential Burglary and Engaging in Violent Group Activity.
It’s the third arrest in connection with the incident.
During an investigation into the Nov. 28 burglary, police said they learned through independent witnesses and telephone records that Richardson had knowledge of the robbery that would only be known to someone actively involved in the crime.
Police said witnesses told them that Richardson learned of drugs which were located inside the home and that he enlisted the help of three other people, one who was armed with an unloaded pistol, to break into the residence and steal the drugs.
From the December police report:
Richardson told the witness the plan was for him to knock on the front door while the co-defendants walked around to the back of the residence. Richardson told the witness it took longer than he expected and he walked around the back of the residence.
The witness said Richardson observed one of the co-defendants kick the back door and three suspects entered the home while Richardson stood outside. Richardson observed two co-defendants stay with one of the residents and the other co-defendant chased one of the suspects to his room. Richardson told the witness he overheard “pop” “pop” and two co-defendants fled from inside the residence. Richardson fled along with the other two co-defendants.
Police say when they arrived, they found one of the four suspects, Roderick Rashaun Cooper, 21, laying on the floor of a bedroom. Cooper later died at Washington Regional Medical Center of a gunshot wound.
One of the residents, Cory Roberts, 22, told police he shot Cooper and then jumped out of a bathroom window. Roberts called police after driving himself to the Valero gas station at the intersection of College Avenue and Lafayette Street.
Roberts told police he’d accidentally shot himself in the leg during the incident.
The other resident, William Whitehead, 21, was not injured.
Investigators said attempts were made to locate Richardson, but that he’d eluded officers until December, when he was arrested by Springdale police who were assisting the Fayetteville Police Department. Police said Richardson had his bags packed and that numerous sources indicated he was planning to leave town.
Police said they confirmed through witnesses that illegal drug transactions were known to take place at 232 N. Olive Ave. and that marijuana was in the home during the robbery. They said they believe the incident was not a random burglary and that the house and residents were specifically targeted that night.