Murder suspect apprehended
A man is in custody in connection to a murder and assault investigation in Caruthersville after an early morning search led to the school being on lock down. Terrance Johnson was charged with murder in the first degree, armed criminal action, assault in the first degree or attempt with serious physical injury or special victim, armed criminal action, burglary second degree, tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution and property damage in the first degree.
Chief Tony Jones reports the incident happened around 4 a.m. at the West Haven Drive Apartment Complex when one person was killed and a second was airlifted to an area hospital.
On Monday, Sept. 25 Caruthersville officers responded to 106 West Haven in reference to an assault. Officers spoke with Bethany Barnett who had injuries to her face. she told officers she had been assaulted
when she entered the front door of her apartment. After explaining she had been hit with a table lamp, she was taken away by ambulance.
Officers then went into the apartment in search of the suspect, where they found a woman lying dead on
the living room floor. The woman was later identified as Shena Allen.
Court documents state that during the 911 call, the person told dispatch Barnett was assaulted and bleeding profusely. When dispatch asked the caller who the suspect was, the caller responded, "I don't know. Dirty." Police say a woman could be heard in the background of the phone call screaming and yelling "Dirty" several times.
According to police, "Dirty" was identified as Terrance Johnson, who Barnett said was staying at her home
with Shena Allen.
Soon after the discovery was made, Chief Tony Jones contacted the Superintendent of the nearby school to make them aware of the situation. Staff were made aware of the situation and the school was locked down with additional security measures in place. A picture of the suspect was distributed to all the staff as officers continued their search of the area.
Around 8:15 a.m. an observant school staff member called officers to report they had seen a man climbing out of a tree, attempting to hide. Within one minute of the call, the suspect was apprehended. The suspect was found wearing only his undergarments. His clothing were found buried on the school's property and was allegedly covered in a red substance believed to be blood.
Officers say Terrance Johnson admitted he was at the apartment and held Allen. Johnson said he panicked when someone came through the door and hit that person with a lamp. Saying he then left the apartment and went to the school where he tried to bury his clothes because they were bloody and he was scared.
According to court documents, earlier that night, at around 8:51 p.m., officers received a call about a domestic incident at Truman and Henrietta. An officer spoke with Johnson and Allen and they told him there was no argument and they hadn't seen anyone arguing. The officer said he saw the victim had cuts on her face, including a large gash above her left eye and severe blunt force trauma to the back of her head.
Chief Tony Jones reported that initial rumors of the suspect having a firearm were not true. “The safety to our children and the public was the number one priority of the Caruthersville Police Department, Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Caruthersville School District. We appreciate each of these groups working together to quickly bring the suspect into custody.”