WEST FARGO — A 19-year-old has been charged in connection with a Monday night shooting in West Fargo. However, another suspect believed to have fired a stray bullet that injured a child is still at large.
CJ Jesse James Carruthers, 19, of Fargo was to appear Wednesday, March 24, in Cass County District Court on felony counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and reckless endangerment, as well as a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm within city limits.
West Fargo police arrested Carruthers and a 17-year-old on suspicion of planning to rob a driver of a car parked on Parkway Drive near Aurora Elementary School.
A criminal complaint said Carruthers and the 17-year-old got into the car, were involved in an argument, exited the car and then fired a gun into the car. The driver fired back before Carruthers and the 17-year-old fled, the complaint said.
A bullet from the driver’s gun struck the head of a 6-year-old child who was lying in bed in a nearby home, the complaint said. The child was taken to Sanford Medical Center for surgery, though his condition is unknown.
Police are still looking for the driver of the car.
The 17-year-old was initially thought to be a witness of the crime but was later deemed a robbery conspiracy suspect, according to the criminal complaint. The Cass County State’s Attorney's Office has not decided whether the 17-year-old will be charged, prosecutor Katherine Naumann said.
Investigators say the alleged robbery is unrelated to a Sunday night shooting that left a juvenile injured in the 1500 block of 11th Avenue South near the Veterans Memorial Arena in West Fargo. That shooting was not random, police said, adding that the juvenile was shot after someone targeted a property owner after an earlier altercation.
The juvenile’s injuries were not life-threatening. No one had been arrested in that case as of Wednesday afternoon.
Police continue to investigate both shootings. Anyone with information on either shooting is asked to call West Fargo police at 701-433-5500.