More than a year after Brandyn Preston was shot, and nearly six months after he died as a result, police have arrested a suspect in the case.
Derrick J. McElroy, 26, of Fort Dodge, is charged with first-degree murder.
McElroy was arrested Thursday, and is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court today.
"Investigators with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, DCI Criminalistics Lab, detectives with the Webster County Sheriff's Department and the Fort Dodge Police Department have been tirelessly following up on countless pieces of evidence," Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody said. "As a result of their work, the case continued to take shape and a suspect was identified."
Carmody said information was developed based on tips from Crime Stoppers and other leads that were developed over the past 14 months.
Preston, 19, was shot while attending a bonfire party at 1101 10th Ave. S.W. on the afternoon of May 8, 2011. He was taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center before being moved to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.
Preston, who was the only person injured in the shooting, was paralyzed from the shoulders down.
He moved in with his mother, Kimberly Susan Wood, in Tampa, Fla., after he was released from the hospital.
However, on Jan. 22, Preston died as a result of the gunshot wound, and police upgraded the investigation from a shooting to a homicide.
"Our condolences go out to the Preston family as they continue to work through this tragedy," Carmody said. "Our thanks go out to everyone who stepped up to provide closure for the Preston family."