The early Tuesday morning shooting death of a Lafayette man marks the third overnight and unsolved killing in the city since early May.
Police found the body of 21-year-old Damien Anthony Champ lying in the roadway about 1:15 a.m. in the 300 block of Bossier Street, near the West Gilman Road intersection, Lafayette Police Department spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said. Champ, who was shot once in the upper chest, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Champ had just been released from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on Monday. He had pleaded guilty on Friday to possession of 4-Methylmethcathinone — a research drug that mimics the effects of Ecstasy — and was sentenced to a year of probation and a suspended two-year jail sentence, court records show.
No further information, including a potential motive, was available Tuesday evening in the killing except for the fact that Champ’s death follows a string of shootings in Lafayette over the last two months.
Police on June 10 arrested Kenyatta Edmond, 35, on accusations he walked up to a group of men getting haircuts outside a residence and fired multiple times at a 19-year-old man, who was not injured.
But a shooter has not been identified in a June 18 drive-by shooting in the 100 block of Delahoussaye Drive. Two teenagers, males 16 and 18 years old, were shot in the feet while standing after midnight among a group of males and females near the corner of North St. Antoine Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
“The challenge is extracting information from the community and getting them comfortable enough that they can provide us information and their identity not be revealed,” Mouton said. “And what information we do get is partial information, and that’s a challenge for our detectives — in trying to take these physical clues and evidence and piece it together.”
Police in early June called a news conference pleading for the public to come forward with information on two unsolved slayings that a special task force investigating the homicides said might have been motivated by robberies.
Aaron Brooks, 32, was shot dead in his home in the 500 block of the Northeast Evangeline Thruway in on May 8, sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Police suspect Brooks’ killer was someone he knew, as there was no forced entry evident in the home where he’d been living for about four months.
Two weeks later and about a mile away, 51-year-old Scotty Alfred was found shot to death in his car in the 300 block of East Foch Street. Family members told police that he had likely been sleeping outside a relative’s home. Alfred often slept in his car between an overnight job and caring for a relative in the home.
In Alfred’s May 24 killing, a dark-colored Jeep with factory-issue chrome rims is noted as a vehicle of interest in the case, and more than one person was seen in the vehicle around the time of the shooting, police said. Alfred died sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
No arrests have been made in either case, and at this point, police have no evidence suggesting any of the recent shootings are related, Mouton said.
The Nov. 21 shooting of 22-year-old Dwayne Batiste is the only one of eight homicides in Lafayette in 2014 that remains unsolved. Batiste was found shot to death in his car on West Gilman Road on a violent Friday involving four shootings that also injured two others. A suspect has not been named in Batiste’s death.
Anyone with information in any of the killings is asked to call the Lafayette Police Department at (337) 291-8600 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at (337) 232-8477.
Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook, or contact her by phone at (337) 534-0825.