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UPDATE: Shooting was attempt to intimidate trial witnesses, police say

Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.
Updated: May 31, 2012 at 5:46 p.m.

— A man scheduled to go on trial Monday in connection with a 2011 drive-by shooting was arrested Thursday in connection with a Wednesday evening shooting incident at Curtis Avenue and Fairlane Street.

Police say Tyrone Welch, 28, and Allen K. Stevens, 32, both of Fayetteville, were trying to intimidate witnesses scheduled to testify in Welch's upcoming trail on charges of attempted second-degree murder, accomplice to first-degree battery, accomplice to a terroristic act, engaging in violent group activity and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle.

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Tyrone Welch (Credit: Fayetteville Police Department)

Early Thursday, police announced they considered Welch and Stevens, 32, of Fayetteville to be persons of interest in Wednesday's shooting. By late Thursday afternoon, the two had been arrested.

Both are charged in connection with intimidating a witness, aggravated assault, accomplice to unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and criminal conspiracy.

Nobody was injured in Wednesday night's shooting, which came almost a week after another shooting in the same area sent a man to the hospital.

Police said they received several 911 calls around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday about gunfire from a car with several people inside. Although nobody was injured, a bullet penetrated the wall of a Huntsville Road home that was not believed to be an intended target of the shooter, police said.

Welch is scheduled to stand trial Monday in connection with a July 24 drive-by shooting at 2332 S. Clover St. In that shooting, the home's resident, Kacey Jones, was shot in the finger. Jones testified last week in the trial of Melissa Gralewski, who was charged as an accomplice in the July 24 incident in which Welch is accused of pulling the trigger. Gralewski was acquitted of all charges related to the shooting.

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Allen Stevens (Credit: Fayetteville Police Department)

Police have described Gralewski as Welch's "baby mama." Days before the 2011 incident, Welch and Jones fought at Dickson Theater on Dickson Street, reportedly because Jones was dating Gralewski. Jones testified in the Gralewski trial that Welch was seeking retribution.

Jones, the victim in last year's incident, was arrested last Saturday in Marianna in connection with the May 24 Fayetteville shooting at Curtis Avenue and Fairlane Street that sent Lee Charles Brown Jr. 37, to the hospital. Brown was shot in the back, but his injuries were not life-threatening, according to police.

A witness told police Brown was a friend of Welch, according to 911 calls.

In preliminary arrest reports filed Thursday, police said Welch and Stevens threatened two men at a convenience store at 15th Street and Curtis Avenue, telling them to "warn their family against testifying" in Welch's upcoming trial.

The reports state Welch and Allen then drove to a home on Curtis where another witness scheduled to testify in Welch's trial had recently parked his car. After sitting in the driveway for a while, the two drove away, firing their guns as they departed.

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