KINGMAN - A string of assaults over the color of clothing worn by random people in public Friday ended when the last victim opened fire on his attackers, hitting one suspect multiple times.
Authorities believe the three reported victims - a homeless man, a 13-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man - were all attacked because they were wearing blue, a color associated with the Crips, one of the largest street gangs in the United States. The victims appear to have been targeted at random while the three suspects drove around town in a red Toyota truck Friday afternoon.
"They (the victims) just happened to be walking in the area when the suspects pulled up," said Kingman Police Lt. Rusty Cooper. "The only commonality was the color of their clothing."
Two of the suspects, a 17-year-old from Kingman and a 17-year-old formerly of Kingman and now living in California, are charged with two counts of felony armed robbery and one count of aggravated assault.
The third suspect, 19-year-old Timothy Albert Hagood of Northern California, faces similar charges pending his release from the hospital. He is listed in stable condition at Kingman Regional Medical Center after he was shot multiple times.
Authorities first learned about the attacks around 3 p.m. Friday when witnesses reported a 13-year-old boy being attacked in the Walmart parking lot. The boy told police he was confronted by three men over the color of his shirt and told to empty his pockets.
The boy required medical attention after he was punched in the face by one of the suspects wearing brass knuckles
While investigating that incident, authorities received a call about a similar attack 20 minutes prior on a homeless man as he was walking on Rutherford Avenue near Mother Road Harley-Davidson.
The man, who walked to the Cornerstone Mission where he called police, said he was confronted over his blue shirt. He said he was threatened with a knife but was not injured.
Cooper said that in both incidents, the suspects portrayed themselves as gang members and asked the victims about their affiliation with gangs. He added that it didn't take long for police to connect the two reports based on the description of the men and their truck.
A short time later, deputies with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of shots fired outside city limits in the area of McVicar Avenue and Roosevelt Street.
With the help of witnesses, deputies were able to track down a 19-year-old man who said he was walking down the street when three men inside a red Toyota truck got out wearing brass knuckles and asked about the man's gang affiliation.
The 19-year-old told deputies he pulled out his 9 mm gun while telling the men to leave him alone, according to Trish Carter, spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. The man then fired several shots after one of the suspects continued to walk toward him.
A short time later, deputies got a call about a gunshot victim brought to Kingman Regional Medical Center by his two friends. The three were then connected to the other assaults based on witness and victim statements.
The 19-year-old man who fired at the suspects was not arrested. The incident has been forwarded to the Mohave County Attorney's Office for review.
Cooper said police are familiar with national gangs like the Crips and their red-clad rivals the Bloods, but that neither gang has a presence in Kingman.