Arrests made after Louisiana 2-year-old hit by stray bullet
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport police have arrested three men, two from Shreveport and one from Bossier City, in connection with gunfire that wounded a child.
Investigators believe a stray bullet struck 2-year-old Messiah on Friday night at Clear Horizon Apartments in the city’s Mooretown neighborhood.
On Sunday, detectives arrested 27-year-old Javuntae Kenyon Williams, of the 2600 block of Village Lane in Bossier City, at 9:28 p.m. and 29–year-old Deandre Wesley Monteze Dixon, of the 4300 block of Illinois Street in Shreveport, at 11:25 p.m. according to Shreveport City Jail booking records.
They arrested 20–year-old Demonte Malik Small, of the 4300 block of Illinois Street, at 3:30 p.m. Monday, those same booking records show.
Each is charged with one count of illegal use of a weapon while in the commission of a crime. And all three have since been transferred to Caddo Correctional Center, where they remain in custody. Authorities say there will be more charges.
The arrests came after investigators reviewed video collected from the area and gathered statements from witnesses they described as forthcoming.
Detectives believe there was an argument among a group of women that led to an exchange of words and a man brandishing a gun and firing at least one shot.
“The individuals in the video were not associated with that incident,” police explained.
But investigators believe the ones seen in the video heard gunshots and began negligently firing their guns with no regard for who or what they were firing toward.
One of those bullets traveled through an apartment building’s exterior wall and struck Messiah as the 2-year-old was playing in his home, detectives said.
“The child’s family was not part of the dispute and was not associated with those that were negligently discharging their weapons.”
Detectives have recovered four guns they believe were used.
KSLA News 12′s Jeff Ferrell stopped at the apartment complex Monday morning and, while there, met neighbors Ashley Smith and Tyteanna Williams.
Both women were at the apartment complex when the gunfire broke out, as Tyteanna recalled.
“We just heard a bunch of gunfire.”
Reporter: “You did? Tell me what you just heard?”
Ashley: “Pop, pop, pop, pop.”
While the two may have shared a brief nervous laugh when we first met them, the conversation very quickly took a somber turn.
That’s when Williams began talking about the 2-year-old boy who was caught in the crossfire of a dispute.
“Yeah, I’m sad. They should go down for that. Whoever did that, we laugh and play right now. It ain’t no laughing matter right now, though. Yeah, they need to go down for that.”
Word of the shooting spread quickly throughout the community.
By the weekend, the news had reached local civil rights attorney J. Antonio Florence.
“It’s sad, right? It’s scary. It’s shameful. From my understanding, not to get too deep into the details of it, that two people, two adults were upset at each other. One adult decided to try to take it out by using gun violence. And again, we all know bullets do not have names.”
Florence is just the latest local figure to tell us the time has come to do more than talk but to act as well.
He spoke of more involvement from the community and more concrete steps to curb the violence.
Florence pointed to the role of despair for at least some of the upsurge in crime.
“If you look at nationally, look at the world, people are upset. COVID-19 has scared a lot of people. The inconsistencies with what’s going on with our government? The questions. People don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Are we going to have a vaccine? Are we going to have a new President? What’s going on? Are we gonna have a job next week, right?”
Back at Clear Horizon, Smith told us she’s convinced there are people who could help solve this case.
“But you know, nobody want to be a snitch, though. So that’s what people worry about over here. They don’t want their name in no paperwork.”
Reporter: “What happens to snitches?”
Smith: “Snitches get stitches.”
Williams: “They end up in ditches!”
Smith: “They end up in ditches.”
But both women contend that all bets are off when it comes to the shooting of a 2-year-old boy.
That’s why anyone with information on the case is urged to call Shreveport-Caddo Crime Stoppers.
While the public may hear that a call is completely confidential, many people do not realize that your phone number is blocked from even showing up in the Crime Stopper system.
You can reach them at (318) 673-7373.
Copyright 2020 KSLA. All rights reserved.