Authorities continue looking for details and information to learn what led up to 18-year-old Tyreke Summage's December shooting death.
So far, twin brothers Rodrick and Robert Thornton have been charged in the teen's case. The 24-year-old brothers were arrested in early January on suspicion of manslaughter in connection to the Conway teen's Dec. 27 shooting death. Both also are charged with aggravated assault and possession of firearms by certain persons and have pleaded not guilty in Faulkner County Circuit Court to the allegations against them.
A search warrant filed in circuit court on Thursday shows that authorities are working to collect Summage's phone records to learn more about his relationship with the alleged shooter — Dontae Slater.
The investigation into Summage's death began after he was dropped off with a gunshot wound at Conway Regional Medical Center on Dec. 27, where he was later pronounced dead. Earlier that day, police also responded to a shots-fired call at the Plaza Pointe apartment complex at 2400 Market Plaza Drive in Conway.
Online records show the shots-fired call came in around 4:26 a.m.
Authorities received two separate calls on the morning in question from Plaza Pointe residents. One caller said they heard two or three shots, while the second reported hearing around 10 gunshots.
As heavy rains poured from the sky that morning, police began questioning residents at the apartment complex and learned one couple “heard several shots that sounded like firecrackers” before looking out a window to see a black man getting into a red four-door car, according to the felony probable cause affidavit.
Officers Phillip Sweet, Mike Fuentes and Colton Thomas searched the area for evidence but were unable to find any shell casings or blood during the early-morning hours due to the heavy rains. Sweet did find a 40 caliber Glock 23 Gen3 in the breezeway of Building 4. According to his report, “there were no bullets in the magazine or in the chamber, and no bullets [were found] near the handgun.”
Police learned just before 5 a.m. on the day in question that Summage was dropped off at the Conway Regional Medical Center by individuals driving a red Toyota Camry.
Hospital staff informed authorities the victim suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and that they were unable to revive him. During the investigation, a tenant informed authorities that bullets came inside his apartment during the shooting. While speaking with the resident, police found a trail of blood leading to Apartment 408.
"Out of concern for the safety of any potential shooting victims, officers immediately forced entry into the apartment to search for anyone in need of medical attention ... and located [three] uninjured occupants in the apartment," the search warrant affidavit reads in part.
While talking with the three individuals, police learned Summage died of a gunshot would at Conway Regional and took all three to the Conway Police Department for further questioning.
"During interviews with the three occupants of the apartment, investigators learned that the deceased was known to the shooter, Dontae Slater, and the deceased had been at the apartment earlier in the evening 'shooting dice' with the occupants," detective Jimmy Weser wrote in the affidavit. "Mr. Slater advised communication with Mr. Summage was conducted through text messages and social media applications. It was also confirmed that all three of the occupants who had been detained were present in the apartment at the time of the shooting."
After questioning the Thornton brothers and those who were in Apartment 408, the affidavit states police "have been given conflicting information in regards to what occurred between Tyreke Summage's first and second visit to Slater's apartment."
"Because of Slater's familiarity with Summage, as well as his presence at the time of the shooting, it is likely that there is evidence on Mr. Summage's phone related to the shooting, including communication immediately before and after the shooting, as well as possible information regarding the relationship of the deceased to Slater," the affidavit states.
Records show that Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell signed off on the search warrant on Feb. 14 and that authorities completed the extraction of data off Summage's phone Monday afternoon.