Lafayette officials are pleading for the public to come forward with any information on two unsolved slayings that police suspect were motivated by robberies.
Aaron Brooks Jr., 32, died from multiple gunshot wounds May 8 at his home at 521 NE Evangeline Thruway near Mudd Avenue, and 51-year-old Scottie Alfred was shot dead May 24 while parked outside a family member’s home at 313 E. Foch St.
“Many cases that we work we’re able to deduce what occurred and solve those crimes,” Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said Wednesday at a news conference at the department’s University Avenue headquarters. “In this particular case, we went almost the entire month of May without very many leads. Our evidence is limited. So we know that people in the community may have information that may be of some benefit to us.”
Although police have no evidence the shootings are related, both happened in the early morning hours about a mile apart. Brooks died sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., and Alfred died sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
As a special task force of six officers continues investigating the two slayings by sifting through surveillance footage and conducting interviews, the Acadiana Crime Lab is working to process bullet casings from both crime scenes, Craft said.
Both shooting deaths happened in the area represented by District 4 Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux, prompting him to join police Wednesday in pressing the public to come forward with information.
“It is a very high priority that we resolve these murders, we hold people accountable and we bring people to justice,” Boudreaux said. “And I think then and only then will we be able to rebuild our communities as we have been trying to do over the last few years.”
Police suspect Brooks’ killer was someone he knew, as there was no forced entry evident in the home where he had been living for about four months.
“Things weren’t disturbed as if it was an encounter with a bad guy,” Lafayette police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said.
Narcotics were found on the scene, but police “can’t say 100 percent” whether the killing was drug-related, Mouton said.
“We feel like there’s some nuggets of information out there that haven’t made it to the police,” Mouton said.
In Alfred’s slaying, a dark-colored SUV with factory-issue chrome rims is noted as a vehicle of interest in the case, and more than one person was seen inside the vehicle around the time of the shooting, Mouton said.
Alfred worked nights and would occasionally take naps in his vehicle outside the home where he’d often visit to check on that particular family member, Mouton said.
Lafayette police have worked five homicides this year, three of which happened in Boudreaux’s district. Northside High standout basketball player Jo’Nathan Delacroix, 18, was killed May 9 when his friend pointed what he thought was an unloaded gun in Delacroix’s face and pulled the trigger. The friend, Anthony Beloney, 18, was arrested on negligent homicide and possession of marijuana. The incident occurred two weeks before graduation.
Jordan Bernard, 21, was arrested on a count of manslaughter in the March 21 shooting death of 24-year-old Albert Gilbert in the 200 block of Mercer Street.
And on Feb. 14, Jerry Ronald Seals, 53, was arrested in the shooting death of James Orgeron, 44, outside a McDonald’s in the 4500 block of Johnston Street.
The Nov. 21 shooting of 22-year-old Dwayne Batiste remains the only one of eight homicides in Lafayette last year 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.
Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook, or call at (337) 534-0825.