Parents charged, accused of disguising 2-year-old’s shooting as drive-by in Cleveland County

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 11:18 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Two parents have been charged and are accused of disguising the shooting of their 2-year-old son as a drive-by in Cleveland County.

The shooting happened along Douglas Street in Lawndale.

Ryquez Clark, a 2-year-old child, was fighting for his life in a hospital in Charlotte after he was shot inside his home on the morning of May 9, 2021 in Cleveland County.

He remains hospitalized and recovering from his injuries as an investigation is ongoing.

On May 26, Cleveland County deputies revealed that investigators have arrested Lucentio Clark and Tianna Jumper, the father and mother of Ryquez, in connection with disguising the shooting as a “drive by shooting” by staging a crime scene to make it appear as one had happened.

In the original 911 call, the mother can be heard telling law enforcement that an unknown shooter shot into the house and a bullet went through the window, striking her child.

According to the sheriff’s office, evidence collected by the investigators disproves statements made by the parents as to what had occurred.

“It would have been so much easier had one of the parents stepped forward on the day in question and actually told us the real story of what happened,” said Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman.

During interviews with the parents, they stated that they heard the sound of gunfire outside when the child was shot.

Authorities say it’s apparent that there was a shot fired from inside the house that struck the child and another that was fired from outside the house after the fact to appear to have come from a “drive by shooting”.

“Once on the scene, the investigation begin to turn that very day raising questions,” Norman added.

Lucentio Clark has been charged with child abuse/neglect-serious bodily injury and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Tianna Lashae Jumper charged with obstructing justice.

WBTV spoke with Tianna Jumper on May 10. At the time Jumper expressed immense concern for her son’s condition.

“My main concern is my son. I just want him back to normal and back playing,” Jumper told WBTV weeks ago. “We love our son and we’ve been through a lot. I just want him safe, back in my arms and back healthy.”

Both parents are being held in the Cleveland County Detention Center as the Department of Social Services is arranging for the child’s care and well-being.

“Sheriff Norman stated that investigators worked diligently to discover the truth in this tragic case in order to bring the unknown shooter to justice. However, investigators quickly discovered that the case was not a “drive by shooting” as reported.” “Our hearts and prayers are with the child as he recovers from his injuries.”

Clark has a $150,000 secured bond, while Jumper has a $100,000 secured bond.

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