Woman dead after FBI gang sweep

December 2, 2008 6:44:41 PM PST
For more than two years, Laquisha Turner lived as a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. She was 17-years-old when she was shot in the face and deck in a drive-by shooting, her boyfriend was the intended target.

Turner's mother, Artesia West cared for her in their Richmond home up until the day before Thanksgiving, when she found Turner dead.

"I just thought she was asleep," West said.

Turner had spent her days in her bedroom playing cards and watching movies with her family, but when FBI agents raided her house as part of a major gang sweep last month, West said Turner never recovered.

"When I opened the door I said, 'I have a disabled daughter...you guys are going to scare her, you can come in and search, do whatever you have to do,' but by this time they were coming in the side door shooting things," West said.

West believes the agents used tear gas during the raid on her house.

The agents were serving a for West's son, wanted on felony drug charges. The FBI declined to comment to ABC7, citing an ongoing investigation, but sources close to the raids said the agents used flash-bang gernades, not tear gas but admitted they do leave a cloud of smoke.

Turner was kept inside, breathing the air while waiting for paramedics while the raid went on.

"They kept telling her to get down on the ground and she kept telling them, 'I can't get down,'" West said.

Turner was shot at an intersection near Hilltop Mall. The shooting triggered a series of retaliatory attacks that left several people dead. It also was the reason authorities launched the gang raids last month through the Iron Triangle.

"We saw in the Iron Triangle area probably a dozen shootings over the next three months that were murders in regards to this feud," Richmond Police Department spokesperson Lt. Mark Gagan said.

The primary suspects in Turner's shooting are Todd Gillard and Rohnell Robinson. They are in jail, charged with attempted murder. Now, in the wake of Turner's death, prosecuters will review the case and decide whether the two men should instead be charged with murder.

Meanwhile, West is waiting for answers.

"I'm still like lost, to this day I still don't know how or why," West said.

Turner's autopsy report is due to be released Tuesday.


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