Police: Facebook comments helped trigger Smyrna murder attempt

SMYRNA — Comments on Facebook may have partially fueled an alleged attempted murder last week, police said in court documents.

An investigating Smyrna Police Department detective said he was also told that a fight at a DOT Discount store precipitated several shots being fired in the late morning of July 1, which later brought the arrest of Steffen Forrest, 28, of the Mount Friendship Road in Smyrna.

Authorities said seven 9mm shell casings were found in the area of Providence Drive after a reported shooting just before 10:20 a.m.

Police said a suspect fired several rounds at a vehicle that had been blocked while driving away from a residence, along with two fleeing adults. No injuries were reported.

The vehicle sustained an estimated $1,200 in damage with bullet strikes to the grill, radiator, oil cooler and left front tire, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The shooting came after a passenger emerged from a Cadillac Escalade and began firing, police said investigation found. The vehicle was allegedly driven by an relative of Mr. Forrest whose name was redacted in court documents.

According to authorities, Mr. Forrest had allegedly brawled with a person approximately an hour before the shooting, and engaged in another fight earlier in the week.

In court papers, a detective said he was told that “[a person] had a fight with [suspect] Forrest and beat him, so [suspect] Forrest came looking to kill him.”

Police said they monitored places Mr. Forrest was known to frequent after he was identified as a suspect, and he was taken into custody without incident in the area of Locust Street.

Charges included two counts each of first-degree attempted murder and first-degree reckless endangering, and single counts of first-degree conspiracy, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by person prohibited, and criminal mischief over $1,000.

Mr. Forrest was arraigned through Justice of the Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and initially held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in lieu of $285,000 cash only bond.

Police said Mr. Forrest had three previous violent felony convictions in 2007 and 2010.

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