police arrest 4 suspects for alleged involvement in shooting death of 17-year-old high school grad

Four suspects under the age of 20 arrested after the killing of a 17-year-old high school graduate. Police charged the youngest with the murder.

Veronica Baker graduated from Garner Magnet High School and planned to start online sociology classes just days before her killing.

Police found her body inside her car in a parking lot at Bojangles on Jones Sausage Road in Raleigh.

police arrest 4 suspects for alleged involvement in shooting death of 17-year-old high school grad

According to reports, residents called 911 to report an unconscious girl sitting in a car with her car’s doors open. Another man claimed the girl had been sitting in the lot for a while.

Responding officers later pronounced her dead at the scene.

After investigation, police arrested four people in connection to the killing. They said Devin Cordell Jones, 17, shot and killed Baker at the scene before fleeing.

Police also charged three other suspects—Keyshara Michelle Deans, 19, Nezyiha Zamir Collins, 19, and Tyreek Qumay Rogers, 18—with felony accessory for helping Jones escape.

police arrest 4 suspects for alleged involvement in shooting death of 17-year-old high school grad

As per arrest warrants, Deans drove Jones away from the scene while Collins and Rogers fled the state with Jones in an attempt to avoid arrest.

Deans, Collins and Rogers appeared in court, but Jones didn’t because he is a minor.

Deans also faced charges in an unrelated case—financial card theft, financial card fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Baker’s dad, Jim Baker, said he didn’t know the older teens but recognized Jones.

He said his daughter and Jones were friends, which may have been why she allowed him into her car.

Jim noted:

“I’ve seen [Jones] at school. They started hanging around sophomore year.”

The dad also said he suspects Jones killed his daughter during a robbery. But Baker knew how to defend herself and may have fought back.

According to her dad, a former Marine, he trained his daughter to use a knife and pepper spray as self-defense.

He noted, however, that Baker hung out with ‘good and bad crowds.’ While she had never been in trouble before, she was a teenager and sometimes made poor decisions, dad said.

Laura, Baker’s mom, added:

“She was my baby who had a future. She had such big, big plans for her future.”

“My daughter would never hurt anybody. She didn’t have a fighting chance in this. She was a good girl.”

police arrest 4 suspects for alleged involvement in shooting death of 17-year-old high school grad

The toxicology report said Baker’s system didn’t have drugs or alcohol.

The autopsy report added that she sustained a gunshot wound in the chest, and the bullet went through her sternum, perforating her heart.

In addition, the bullet damaged her stomach and diaphragm before exiting her back on the left side.

Rogers and Collins are now in jail with $500,000 bonds, while Deans has a $1,015,000 bond due to her other unrelated charges.