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Police: Laylah Petersen murder suspects plotted revenge shooting, fired into wrong house

Laylah Petersen was sitting on her grandfather's lap on a November evening, when the home was sprayed with bullets.

One hit the five-year-old in the head, killing her.

Milwaukee police said the men accused of pulling the trigger were on the hunt for revenge and recklessly missed their intended target.

"These individuals were motivated by a tragic, but absurd chain of events," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

Those events start in an alley near 69th and Ruby. Terreonte Henry-Boston, 21, was shot and killed during a robbery there in March 2014.

Henry-Boston was like a brother to Arlis Gordon, who was in court November 6, 2014 when Henry-Boston's accused murderer, Jaquan Howard, was acquitted.

Documents show Gordon threatened to take matters in his own hands saying, "He killed my brother and he’s getting out! This can’t be going on, I’m gonna do something about it.” So Gordon got a gun from a friend.

"Over the course of several hours, these individuals got a second firearm and decided to go shoot up the house of the girlfriend of the acquitted defendant," said Flynn. "They went to the wrong house."

A house near 58th and Fairmount.

Gordon allegedly bragged to his friends he emptied the whole clip, not knowing Petersen, her sister and their grandparents were inside. Laylah didn't survive.

Police said the suspects intended target was instead four blocks away, near 54th and Fairmount.

It's been a painful road for Petersen's family, who shed more tears Tuesday, as police announced the arrests.

"We just want to thank everyone who had love for our daughter and that there's a special place in my heart for you," said RJ Petersen, Laylah's dad.

But now, detectives hope their efforts to solve this case brings healing and justice for Laylah.

Arlis Gordon, 23, was arrested in Chicago and has yet to make his initial appearance in Milwaukee County Court. But Paul Farr, 24, and Carl Barrett, 20, have. Both men have a preliminary hearing set for October 28.

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