Police on Monday identified a Lafayette teenager killed over the weekend as 18-year-old Jo’Nathan Delacroix, a Northside High School senior and standout basketball player who was shot in the face by a fellow student.
Anthony Beloney, 18, told police he thought the chamber was empty when he pointed a pistol at Delacroix and pulled the trigger, according to the Lafayette Police Department.
The shooting happened at Delacroix’s home in the 1600 block of 12th Street about 2:20 p.m. Saturday, just one day before Mother’s Day, two days before final exams began and two weeks before the teens were set to graduate.
Beloney, who was also booked on marijuana possession, now faces up to five years in prison if convicted of negligent homicide.
Northside High students gathered Monday for a memorial in the school’s gym during lunch hour, and additional counselors were dispatched to the school, Principal Julia Williams said.
Practice was canceled Monday for the high school’s Mighty Vikings basketball team, on which Delacroix — known to family, friends and teammates as “Joe” — was a starting point guard, KATC-TV reported.
Lafayette City-Parish Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux, who represents District 4, in which Delacroix’s home is located, said his effort last summer to launch a gun buyback program was meant to curtail this type of tragedy.
“This is what we were trying to avoid,” Boudreaux said Monday. “We failed. We failed because another kid has died.”
Police have not confirmed the gun’s origin. No further details were available Monday in the ongoing investigation.
“We have to know: How did this young man have this gun? Where are the parents on this issue?” Boudreaux said. “There’s no one who can defend what happened this weekend.”
Delacroix’s funeral services had not been set as of Monday evening, and Beloney remained in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Follow Lanie Lee Cook on Twitter, @lanieleecook, or contact her by phone at (337) 534-0825.