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Police capture Damonta Jennings, last of 3 charged in Za’layia Jenkins’ death

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Damonta Jennings

MILWAUKEE — The Oshkosh Police Department arrested 21-year-old Damonta Jennings of Milwaukee late on Tuesday, August 15th. Jennings is the third person taken into custody and charged in connection with the fatal shooting of nine-year-old Za’layia Jenkins.

Oshkosh police were patrolling the area of Menominee Park around 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday when an officer came across two vehicles near the railroad bridge. One of the vehicles attempted to leave, but was stopped inside the park. The traffic stop was made as the park closes at 11:00 p.m.

Jennings was a passenger in one of the vehicles and gave officers a false name on multiple occasions. After he was identified as Jennings, he was taken into custody. He is being transported back to Milwaukee.

Otha Brown, Tony Powell Jr., Damonta Jennings

Jennings was charged earlier this week along with Otha Brown and Tony Powell Jr. in the Jenkins shooting. They are each facing one count of first degree reckless homicide (As a party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon).

Za’layia Jenkins

Jenkins was struck by a stray bullet near 15th and Meinecke during a “shootout” between two groups of armed individuals while inside a home on May 5, 2016. An autopsy revealed Jenkins had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the criminal complaint against the three suspects, “Brown said that the three of them stopped in the area of 15th and Meinecke so Jennings could conduct a drug sale. A woman from the house scolded them. Jennings argued with the woman, who then called a man from inside the residence. That man came out carrying a gun. They argued briefly and Jennings drove off. They heard gunshots and saw that the man who had exited the house was firing at them. Brown could hear and feel the car being struck. Jennings drove off, turned around, and stopped. They each got out with a firearm, walked towards the house, and fired numerous rounds towards the house.”

Nine-year-old Za’layia Jenkins shot near 15th and Meinecke

The complaint indicates Brown admitted to firing an “AR,” Brown said that Powell was firing an “AK,” and that Jennings was firing a large pistol.

Brown and Powell Jr. will be in court for their preliminary hearings on August 18th.

An initial appearance for Jennings hasn’t yet been set.

Brown is also facing charges in connection with a fatal shooting at the Tastee Twist near North and Teutonia on August 4th. He faces one count of first degree intentional homicide, as party to a crime in connection with the death of 26-year-old Jerome Jennings. He has a preliminary hearing on the 18th in that case as well.