Police: 15-year-old in Cape Girardeau shooting reached brothers before dying
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 ~ Updated 12:02 AM
By Rudi Keller and Brian Blackwell ~ Southeast Misourian
A 15-year-old boy shot in his mother's residence before dawn Tuesday reached his two younger brothers, one of whom called 911, before he died of his injuries, Cape Girardeau Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Selzer said.
Derrick Joseph Orman and his mother, Jamie Lynn Orman, 30, were found dead from gunshot wounds in the residence at 1224 N. Missouri Ave. Jamie Lynn Orman lived in the home, but detectives with the Cape Girardeau/Bollinger County Major Case Squad would not disclose whether Derrick Orman lived there or was visiting his mother overnight.
Neighbors said Jamie Orman lived in the home with John Lawrence, who owned the home with his estranged wife, Michelle Lawrence, according to Cape Girardeau County property tax records.
Lawrence was not at home at the time of the slayings, Selzer said.
The killer or killers who committed the double murder forced open a door, but there is no indication of a robbery or other crimes besides the slayings, Selzer said.
"There is no evidence of anything other than them going in, committing the homicide and then leaving," he said.
On Tuesday afternoon, police were not ready to identify anyone as a suspect and no one was being interrogated, Selzer said. Everyone who has been contacted so far about the killings has cooperated with investigators, Selzer said.
Investigators believe both Jamie Orman and Derrick Orman were shot in their beds, Selzer said. "The 15-year-old was able to move from the point where he was shot to another area of the house where his brothers were before he passed away," he said.
The two younger brothers, 14 and 9, were not injured. The 14-year-old called 911 at about 5 a.m. to report the shootings, Selzer said.
Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton declined to give any information about the wounds the two suffered. Autopsies were performed Tuesday afternoon by Dr. Russell Deidiker, a forensic pathologist, in Farmington, Mo., Clifton said.
About 30 officers from six police agencies were working to solve the case, Selzer said. The Cape Girardeau/Bollinger County Major Case Squad typically works for 48 hours to solve a case, but the time can be extended if promising leads still exist.
The deaths are the first murders in Cape Girardeau in 18 months, since George Robinson, 42, died April 29, 2008, in an arsonist-set fire at 203 S. Pacific St. No suspect has been arrested in that case.
The most recent shooting death in Cape Girardeau took place Feb. 22, 2008, when Chabreasha Egson, 20, was shot inside her home at 1523 N. Spanish St. Tambra Turner of Sikeston, Mo., is awaiting trial in Egson's slaying.
Officers and coroner's aides worked in a steady rain while neighbors gathered underneath porches and carports. Throughout the morning investigators and law enforcement, dressed mostly in white suits, walked in and out of the Lawrence residence, whose yard was marked off by yellow tape.
Investigators gathering evidence interviewed witnesses living at homes in the 1200 block of North Missouri Avenue. Seven Cape Girardeau police cars were parked on the street, as well as vehicles from the Cape Girardeau Sheriff's Department and Jackson Police Department.
A steady stream of motorists hoping to get a glimpse of the crime scene drove through neighborhood, sometimes stopping to ask questions of those watching.
By 1:30 p.m., a cluster of neighbors from nearby Stoddard Street had gathered, some unaware of what happened.
Mary Harper, 1505 Stoddard St., said her son had played football with one of the boys Monday.
"I'm very surprised this happened in our neighborhood," she said. "Nothing like this seems to happen here. We're very close-knit here."
Neighbor Rick Broniste, who lives at 1229 N. Missouri Ave., said he has known the Lawrences since 2005.
"When I woke up at 4:45 this morning things seemed pretty normal," Broniste said. "Then 30 minutes later I open my blinds to see flashing police cars. I never heard anything out of the ordinary, and believe me, the dogs that live in homes nearby would have let us know.
"The people who lived there have been great neighbors and upstanding citizens as far as I could tell," he said. "For something like this to happen is beyond comprehension. It's a shocker. An absolute shocker."
The residence was home to John Lawrence and Michelle Lawrence and their two children prior to John Lawrence filing for divorce in June 2008. That divorce is still pending, and attorneys for both spouses appeared in court Tuesday morning in Jackson, where Associate Circuit Judge Scott Thomsen set a Jan. 22 trial date.
John Lawrence filed for a divorce the day after Jamie Orman's former husband, Bruce Orman of Perryville, Mo., filed papers in Perry County seeking a divorce. The Ormans' divorce became final in October 2008.
Broniste said Michelle moved out of the Lawrence home in the early summer and Orman moved in soon after.
The only disputes he ever witnessed between John and Michelle Lawrence were over issues such as keeping the inside of the house clean, Broniste said.
No one answered when a reporter knocked at Michelle Lawrence's residence Tuesday afternoon. No number could be found to contact Bruce Orman.
Police have been unable to locate any neighbors who heard gunshots, Selzer said. Investigators are asking that anyone who lives in the neighborhood who saw a car or someone walking nearby before 5 a.m. contact the police.
1224 N. Missouri Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO
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