Cartel-orchestrated shooting outside Chili’s was a murder-for-hire plot, Texas cops say

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An 18-month investigation that began after a fatal shooting in a Chili’s parking lot has led to the takedown of a gang, authorities say.

Police in Texarkana announced on Tuesday, June 28, the arrests of eight people it says are associated with the LCB/I-30 cartel gang. Some of the gang members are accused of orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot against Jermaine Aldridge, who was killed outside a Chili’s restaurant on Dec. 30, 2020, according to police.

Aldridge, 31, was shot and killed after “some type of fight” in the parking lot of the restaurant, police told KSLA at the time of the killing.

Police determined Aldridge’s killing “was actually part of a much large series of criminal acts” by the gang members, officers said Tuesday.

Among those acts was the shooting of a 35-year-old man, who Texarkana police say was shot on July 15, 2021, as he sat in a vehicle outside of a business. Minutes earlier, another man was tied up inside of his home by several men and robbed at gunpoint, police said.

Five of the suspects have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity for murder, police said. They have been identified as 33-year-old Courtney Hope, of Texarkana; 34-year-old Van Grissom, of Texarkana; 21-year-old Cedric Alexander, of Wall, Mississippi; 31-year-old Calvin Gardner, of Desoto, Texas; and 30-year-old Cornell Brown, of Memphis.

Brown also faces a capital murder charge in the Sept. 20, 2021, shooting death of Keith McFadden in Texarkana, Arkansas, police said. McFadden was found lying in the front yard of a home after the shooting, KETK reported.

Each of the five, as well as three others, are also charged with engaging in organized criminal activity for aggravated assault and aggravated robbery. Vonquildric Abraham, 29, of Texarkana, Texas; Derial Greenwood, 34, of Texarkana, Texas; and Courtney Williams, 32, of Memphis, were identified as the suspects who are not facing the murder charges.

Police are searching for an additional suspect, 35-year-old Markeis Richardson. Anyone with information into his whereabouts is asked to contact Texarkana police at 903-798-3116.

Texarkana Police Chief Kevin Schutte said he expects more arrests soon.

“I’m very proud of the extraordinary work of our detectives. These were not easy cases by any standard,” Schutte said. “They had to pull out just about every tool in their investigative toolbox to finally be able to get to the bottom of what happened and discover the truth. They’ve simply refused to give up — and they’re still going.”

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