14-Year-Old Identified As One of Two Murder Suspects in Midland Shooting

14-Year-Old Identified As One of Two Murder Suspects in Midland Shooting
By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Two suspected murderers are behind bars in Midland. They're accused of killing a man in his home but neighbors think more suspects are behind it. The shooter is 14-years-old.

It's a bittersweet day for friends and family of 53-year-old Alfer Hemphill. He was found shot inside his apartment on the 500 block of West Cowden in Midland. Police say the shooting was retaliation for a suspect receiving "bad drugs."

"Often times drug deals gone bad can often lead to aggravated assault, murder, as seen in this case," Sarah Higgins, Public Information Officer for the City of Midland, said.

38-year-old Shermon Valentine Ranson and a 14-year-old boy were arrested on Thursday evening. Both are charged with murder.

According to the arrest affidavit, on May 15th, Sherman Ranson drove two juveniles to Hemphill's apartment. He handed one of them a gun and directed him to go into the courtyard and shoot into Hemphill's apartment. The 14-year-old shooter then ran out the back gate where Ranson was waiting in his car to make their getaway. The other juvenile in the car is not facing charges at this time. NewsWest 9 spotted over ten gunshots through the front door. One of which took Alfer Hemphill's life.

"I can't remember the last time we've had a juvenile actually be charged with murder. So that is something that is unusual in this area," Higgins said.

Crosses, flowers and candles sit in front of Hemphill's residence. He was known for always lending a helping hand and being a good friend to everyone. Neighbors tell NewsWest 9 just days before the shooting happened, they spotted Ranson sitting in the corner of the apartment courtyard. They say this was unusual because he never hung around there.

NewsWest 9 also spoke with someone who knew the suspects. They say it's no surprise because Ranson was always bringing trouble wherever he went. Another friend of Hemphill's says he was the one to call police after hearing about the car the suspects were driving. He says one thing's for sure, there are more than three people behind the murder of Alfer Hemphill.

The common denominator between everything shared with NewsWest 9, was that Hemphill was not a target. He was unfortunately caught in the middle of a drug deal, which they claim, had nothing to do with him.