According to Chief Russell J. Bono, four men and one woman are facing charges stemming from the shoot out that erupted in the 300 block of Moore Street in the early-morning hours of Tuesday, Aug. 7.
Terrance Ferguson, his brother Kenneth Ferguson, of Philadelphia, and Shawn Thomaston, of Norristown, are being charged with criminal attempt to commit homicide, aggravated assault, kidnapping, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats, simple assault and criminal conspiracy for their violent attempt to collect a debt from Roderick Perry, of Norristown. Perry is facing drug-related charges for sales and possession stemming from a separate incident not related to the shootout.
Also facing charges is Shenequa Tensley, of the 300 block of Moore Street. Tensley is being charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute after police effecting a search warrant on her home discovered cocaine and cocaine paraphernalia.
The Ferguson brothers and Thomaston were reportedly attempting to collect a debt from Perry.
"What we believe is that this was over a debt," said Chief Bono. "In fact, we have information that the debt was as large as $22,000. We don't know if the debt was a drug debt or a gambling debt."
According to Chief Bono, the three alleged actors enlisted Tensley to contact Perry's girlfriend, who lives near the 300 block of Moore Street, and entice her to come to Tensley's home. When the woman arrived, the three Philadelphia men allegedly accosted her, tied her up and attempted to force her to call Perry to come to the house. When she refused, the men reportedly brutally pistol whipped her and eventually transfered her to the trunk of a nearby vehicle. The woman was later rescued from the trunk by police and treated for her injuries and released.
Police say the men then continued to call Perry on their own in an attempt to get him to the residence on the 300 block of Moore Street. When Perry did finally arrive, the scene reportedly erupted in a shoot out that left Perry and two of the other men injured. Police were able to take the third man into custody when they arrived on the scene. At least one witness reported a fourth man running from the scene when the shots rang out, but police have been unable to verify if another actor was involved in the incident.
Police say it is still unclear how the shooting started or which suspects were armed with what weapons. Chief Bono reports that at least three types of shell casings were recovered from the scene – .45 caliber, .380 caliber and 9mm casings – however, only two weapons were recovered – a .45 handgun from Tensley's apartment and a TEC-9 from the trunk of the car Perry's girlfriend was rescued from.
The Ferguson brothers and Thomaston will be arrested and arraigned today. Perry, who underwent surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as a result of his injuries, will be arraigned tonight at the hospital.
"[Perry] is going to be arraigned tonight by Judge Sobeck," said Chief Bono. "We're going to take him to the University of Pennsylvania tonight so [Perry] can be arrested and arraigned."
Perry is expected to be released on his own recognizance so that he can continue to be treated for his injuries. A summons will be issued for Tensley, as she also has unidentified medical condition.
Anyone with information about this crime could call the Norristown Police Department at 610-270-0977.
[Correction: Norristown Patch orginally identified the suspect Shawn Tomaston as being from Philadelphia. He is actually a Norristown resident. The story has been updated to reflect the correct information.]