New details in murder of 3-year-old Major Sutton

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It was warmer than usual in Bakersfield on Nov. 10, 2017.

Police say two masked men kicked down an apartment door on Pershing Street, and shot 3-year-old Major Sutton, his 5 year old brother, and his nine-months pregnant mother.

Major was shot in the chest, and died at the scene. 

New court documents detail a months-long investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department. 

The documents suggest the target of the shooting was Rodney Gupton, a member of the West Side Crips living with Major’s mother, Johniece Williams according to the police.

But Gupton was not in the apartment that night.

The following day, police arrested 20-year-old Tyrone Johnson, an East Side Crip, for a parole violation.

Detectives matched a shoe print on the kicked in door to the same size, brand and tread pattern of Johnson’s shoe, but ultimately released Johnson.

Eight days later, Johnson was pulled over during a traffic stop. 

Police say they found a Smith & Wesson pistol in the purse of his passenger, Myeisha Dale. 

After an analysis by the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services, it was determined the handgun was used in Major Sutton’s shooting. 

Johnson’s and Dale’s DNA were found on the gun.

In December, Johniece Williams picked 19-year-old David Palms out of a photo lineup, saying he was the man who shot her. 

Police say Palms is also an East Side Crip.

With that evidence and the help of two informants and numerous anonymous tips provided by the public, police arrested Johnson, Palms, and Dale last week for Major Sutton’s murder.

Police say Johnson kicked down the door, Johnson and Palms fired the shots, and Dale manned the getaway vehicle. 

In jailhouse interviews with 17 News, Johnson and Palms denied involvement.

Though police say over one monitored jail phone call in November, Johnson said to an unidentified female, “I pulled that trigger [expletive] … I did that.”

Johnson, Palms and Dale are expected in court Wednesday. 

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