2nd suspect arrested in deadly shooting of 7-year-old boy

Shunderrious Bankston was arrested Saturday after he allegedly eluded police during an attempted traffic stop. He is now facing charges in connection with the deadly shooting of a 7-year-old boy.
Shunderrious Bankston was arrested Saturday after he allegedly eluded police during an attempted traffic stop. He is now facing charges in connection with the deadly shooting of a 7-year-old boy.

Credit: Clayton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Clayton County Sheriff's Office

A second Clayton County man was arrested Saturday in connection with the gang-related shooting of a 7-year-old boy, authorities said.

Shunderrious Bankston, 20, was taken into custody at an extended stay motel in Brookhaven after he eluded police during an attempted traffic stop, according to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office.

He was wanted on several charges related to the traffic stop, including fleeing police, reckless driving, speeding, driving without a license and other traffic violations. On Sunday, investigators took out additional warrants on charges of aggravated assault and gang activity in connection with the child’s death.

The boy, who was identified by the sheriff’s office as Gabriel Vasquez, was killed April 11 when a stray bullet crashed through his Lamont Avenue home in the Conley area. The shooting was the result of a dispute between suspected drug dealers and gang members, according to the agency.

Bankston is the second man to be arrested in the case. Darnell Hansa Howard, 28, was arrested last week on charges of aggravated assault and violation of probation for his alleged role in the shooting.

RELATED: Cops say man arrested in 7-year-old's slaying tied to another homicide

Darnell Hansa Howard
Darnell Hansa Howard

Credit: Clayton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Clayton County Sheriff's Office

Investigators believe Howard’s 18-year-old brother was the intended target of the gunfire. Neither Howard nor his brother were related to the child, who had nothing to do with the dispute, police said.

They have not said who is suspected of firing the fatal shot.

MORE: 7-year-old killed by stray bullet in Clayton County; 18-year-old wounded

Howard is also facing charges in an October 2019 homicide in Conley. He was identified as a suspect in the shooting death of 41-year-old Roman Christopher Baldwin after police said evidence came to light following his Wednesday arrest.

He was previously considered a person of interest, a Clayton County police spokeswoman said.

ALSO: Man sought in Clayton County shooting that left 7-year-old boy dead

According to the sheriff's office, Bankston is also suspected in several ongoing aggravated assault investigations, although no additional charges have been filed. He is an alleged member of the YSL gang based in Atlanta, also known as Slime, authorities said in a public advisory.

Last week, Sheriff Victor Hill said more arrests in the case were imminent. No other suspects have been publicly identified.

“We haven’t even warmed up yet,” Hill said in a statement. “Every drug dealer, gang-banger, pimp, prostitute, or any other criminal we can find in this area will continue to feel the wrath until someone tells us who killed this child.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 770-477-4479. A cash reward may be available for tipsters who call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477, and information may be submitted anonymously on the sheriff's office tip line.

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