Report describes fatal robbery of Rhodes College student at home near campus
The Memphis man suspected of shooting and killing Rhodes student Andrew "Drew" Rainer during a home invasion is in custody, Memphis police said.
Rainess Holmes, 36, has been arrested and faces several charges in connection with the fatal home invasion, including first-degree murder. Police identified Holmes as a suspect Monday.
According to the police narrative, three or possibly four men broke into a residence in the 700 block of North McLean around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday wearing tightly-drawn hoodies.
The suspects told the five people in the house to not look at them. Rainer was told to enter the password to his iPad. When he was unable to enter his password, he was shot.
Rainer, according to the court documents, struggled with Holmes over the gun. In the struggles, Holmes fired the gun a second time, striking a female victim in the hand.
Holmes and the other suspects left the house with video gaming systems, phones, and other electronics belonging to the victims.
When paramedics arrived at the scene, Rainer was found at the bottom of the staircase with a gunshot wound in the center of the chest. Paramedics were unable to revive Rainer; he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rainer was a graduate of Christian Brothers High School. At Rhodes, he was majoring in English and minoring in music.
The college confirmed Rainer was a student on Monday; the college canceled all classes for the day.
Rainer earned the Clarence Day Scholarship for "leadership qualities inside and outside the classroom," said Rhodes College Interim President Carroll D. Stevens. He was also the chaplain for the Epsilon Sigma Chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.
Off-campus, Rainer played for the band Belvedere Memphis.
One of the victims, according to court documents, was able to track the location of his iPad to a motel on Summer Avenue.
When police located the motel, officers found the same stolen Jeep Wrangler that had been seen at the victims' house. At the motel, police saw Holmes and an unidentified woman walking up to the Jeep.
When police attempted to approach them both, Holmes ran. Police found Rainer's wallet in the ditch that Holmes used to escape.
Holmes was eventually arrested by the U.S. Marshals Two Rivers Violent Fugitive Task Force in the 3100 block of Powell Avenue — about three miles east of the house where Rainer was killed.
Memphis police Chief C.J. Davis commented on Holmes' arrest Tuesday afternoon.
"We are hopeful the capture of Rainess Holmes will lead us to others who may have played a part in this crime. Our commitment is to seek justice for the victims and family members who are impacted by such heinous acts," Davis said. "In this same spirit, we will work relentlessly to rid our community of violent offenders who pervasively threaten the safety and livelihood of our citizens.”
Micaela Watts is a reporter for The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected]