Police Arrest, Charge Three People In Shooting Death Of 5-Year-Old Laylah Petersen

| by Lauren Briggs
From left: Carl Barrett, Arlis Gordon, Paul FarrFrom left: Carl Barrett, Arlis Gordon, Paul Farr

Milwaukee police arrested three suspects for the death of 5-year-old Laylah Petersen nearly a year after two stray bullets hit her in the head while she sat on her grandfather's lap on Nov. 6, 2014.

Police said on Oct. 20 that they arrested and charged Paul Farr, 24, and Carl Barrett, 20, on Oct. 14 and Arlis Gordon, 23, on Oct. 17, Fox 6 reports.

Farr faces charges of harboring/aiding a felon, while Barrett and Gordon face charges of first degree reckless homicide-party to a crime.

Police Chief Ed Flynn said that the suspects "shot the wrong house" in an attempt to avenge Gordon's brother's murder.

"These individuals were motivated by a tragic, but also absurd chain of events," Flynn said, according to Fox 6.

A criminal complaint states that Gordon became "very upset" and intoxicated after a jury acquitted a man accused of killing Gordon's brother.

"He killed my brother and he's getting out!" Gordon allegedly said at the time. "This can't be going on. I'm gonna do something about it."

That day, Gordon contacted a man to borrow a firearm, and he and Barrett met the man at Farr's house, according to the criminal complaint. Later, Gordon reportedly called Farr and said they could retrieve the gun; Farr, Barrett and another man then entered Farr's car and went to meet Gordon.

Gordon entered Farr's car, and as they were driving, Gordon asked Farr to stop at a particular house so he could pick something up.

The car stopped near the scene of the crime, cellphone records suggest. Gordon and Barrett exited the vehicle, and the man with Farr told investigators he heard "a barrage of gunfire."

The car then stopped at another house. The men went inside and placed two firearms on the table.

"I emptied the whole clip!" Gordon allegedly said. "We lit the whole (expletive) up!"

The fourth man involved told police that Barrett later told him that "they meant to hit the house of Gordon's brother's killer, or the house where his baby's mama stays, but that they shot into the wrong house." Gordon then asked the man to "keep his mouth shut," according to police.

Laylah, who would have turned 6 on Sept. 23, died in the hospital from two gunshot wounds to the head.

Her family said on Sept. 22 that more information about the tragedy would be the best birthday gift Laylah could receive.

"Every day we're healing a little more," Ashley Fogel, Laylah's mother, said after the tragedy, according to WISN.

Sources: Fox 6, WISN
Photo Credit: Milwaukee Police via Fox 6