A Pine Bluff man was on life support after being shot several times Feb. 7 during what police say was a robbery. One of the suspects was arrested Tuesday in connection with the incident.
Joshua Luster, 20, was identified from video surveillance from a convenience store where the victim said there was an attempt to rob him prior to the incident that resulted in the shooting.
According to a probable cause affidavit from Pine Bluff Police Detective Cassandra Briggs-McAfee, Othello Johnson, 30, received gunshot wounds to the chest, right arm, left upper leg and lower back, and when police arrived at the Deja Vu Apartments at 1001 Vaugine St., they found Johnson sitting on the ground next to a vehicle. Several shell casings were also found at the scene.
Johnson told police he had received a call from a subject he was associated with who asked for a ride to the apartments; when he got there, the associate, later identified as Luster, asked Johnson if he knew where he could buy some “Loud” (marijuana).
Johnson said he told the man no, and as he was getting ready to leave, two men opened the driver’s side door of his vehicle, asked “where is the money at,” and started shooting. He said he saw Luster get out of the passenger seat, come around to the driver’s side door and then all three men ran.
He said that a few hours earlier, at about 11 a.m., the same men tried to rob him at the convenience store at University Drive and Pullen Street.
McAfee reported watching the security video and was able to identify Luster from the video.
According to the affidavit, Luster was located Monday and when initially questioned, told police he did not know anything about the incident. However, after comparing numbers on Luster’s cell phone to that of Johnson and determining that Luster had called Johnson, Luster said he had called Johnson and asked him to meet at the apartments.
Luster also allegedly said he had nothing to do with the robbery and had not set up Johnson to be robbed.
McAfee reported that a witness told police they had heard Luster talk about setting up the robbery of the victim earlier.
Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $100,000 bond for Luster after ruing prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with first-degree battery and with aggravated robbery. Luster was also ordered to have no contact with Johnson until the case is settled.