VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) – A 26-year-old gang member has been arrested on murder charges in the shooting death of 12-year-old Makiya Walls in Victorville.
Anthony Pitts of Adelanto was taken into custody Thursday night while leaving his mother’s home in Redlands, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said at a Friday morning news conference.
Two women — 29-year-old Danielle Cummings and 28-year-old Reyna Mercado — both of Adelanto, were also arrested on murder charges in connection with the case. Their alleged roles in the shooting were not disclosed.
The mother of the victim, Maesha McCullers, who also goes by the moniker Maesha Lundy, was taken into custody as well, accused of making threats against Pitts and his associates. Authorities said McCullers confronted the suspects over the phone following the murder. It was those phone conversations that led to her arrest.
“You’re not supposed to bury a child, you’re not supposed to bury a 12-year-old,” McCullers told CBS2 Thursday. “It’s not supposed to be that way.”
At about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Makiya was inside her home at Monaco Drive and Palermo Avenue when shots came through the front window and struck her. She died at a local hospital about 90 minutes later.
Witnesses told authorities the suspect approached the residence, fired several rounds from a shotgun, and then fled in a vehicle.
According to McMahon, Makiya was not the target of the shooting. Sheriff’s detectives believe Pitts, Cummings and Mercado were in an ongoing feud with Makiya’s family. McMahon confirmed that a police report had been filed earlier Wednesday night, prior to the shooting, due to an ongoing disturbance at Makiya’s home.
Makiya’s mother was arrested Thursday for making threats against Pitts, McMahon said.
“She was involved in some activity that amounted to credible terrorist threats against the suspect and the suspect’s associates, and a warrant was sought and she was arrested last night for those terrorist threats,” McMahon told reporters.
Mayika would have started seventh grade on Thursday. Family and friends held a vigil for her Thursday night at Desert Trails Elementary School.
McCullers was released on bail Friday evening, according to the SBSD inmate registry. The three murder suspects are expected to make their first court appearance next week.