Suspect named in first 2016 homicide _lowres

Leethel White, 38

The Sheriff’s Office on Sunday identified a suspect in the shooting death of 28-year-old Kourtney Thomas and the wounding of another woman Saturday night in the Gardere area of Baton Rouge.

Leethel White, 38, 5564 Regatta Drive, is wanted on counts of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.

White remained at large Saturday night, Hicks said.

Thomas, who is the parish’s first homicide of 2016, was found shot to death around 9 p.m. Saturday near a vehicle in the 8600 block of Coy Avenue and was pronounced dead at the scene, Hicks said.

A second woman, who was not identified, was also shot during the incident and remained in the hospital Sunday with what Hicks described as minor injuries.

An autopsy for Thomas is scheduled for Monday, said Dr. William “Beau” Clark, the coroner for East Baton Rouge Parish.

Hicks did not address a possible motive in the shooting but said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the shooting or White’s whereabouts may contact the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office at (225) 389-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

Police try to solve how bus windows shattered

Thirteen passengers riding a CATS bus Saturday night saw windows shatter on both sides of it as it headed down North Acadian Thruway near Fairfield Avenue in Baton Rouge.

As the Capital Area Transit System bus headed south on North Acadian Thruway past a couple of men standing on the side of the road, windows on both sides of the bus shattered, said Baton Rouge Police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely.

Police haven’t determined what sort of projectile passed through the windows, McKneely said.

The bus driver told police she didn’t hear gunfire or other noises except the shattering of glass, McKneely said.

He also said he wasn’t aware of other reports of gunfire in the area.

“We don’t know what actually shattered the glass,” McKneely said. “It went from one side to the other.”

After hearing the windows shatter, the bus driver checked on the passengers, saw no one was injured, notified CATS personnel and drove the bus back to the terminal where police detectives interviewed the driver and at least one passenger, McKneely said.

A number of other passengers who had been on the bus left the terminal without talking to police, McKneely said.

“First and foremost, CATS is grateful no one was injured in the incident that occurred last night,” agency spokeswoman Amie McNaylor said in a statement.

McNaylor said the bus driver followed agency’s safety protocol and that CATS alerted Baton Rouge Police as soon as the driver reported the incident.

“We are confident that the police will continue their investigation until we have a clearer understanding of exactly what happened,” McNaylor said.

Nine suspected of driving while intoxicated

Authorities arrested at least nine people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between noon Saturday and noon Sunday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

Caleb Banks, 24, 30955 Caney Branch Road, Denham Springs, first-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle and hit-and-run.

Derrick Devall, 44, 15035 Central Woods Ave., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and making an illegal turn at an intersection.

Dunia Mejia, 27, 5750 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle, driver’s license not in possession and failure to maintain control of a vehicle.

Daniel Meliet, 26, 8763 Evening Shadow Drive, Denham Springs, first-offense DWI, failure to signal or improper turn, seat belt violation and failure to change address on driver’s license.

Kristin Nabors, 18, 1560 Azalea Drive, Centreville, Mississippi, first-offense DWI and failure to maintain control of a vehicle.

Noel Ramos, 28, 9122 GSRI Ave., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle and driver’s license not in possession.

Derrick Sanders, 32, 660 Rushmore Drive, Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI and improper lane usage.

Milet Shilling, 38, 36532 Carlino Court, Prairieville, first-offense DWI and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

Sydney Young, 25, 1216 S. 17th St., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, disobeying a red light and driver’s license expired/revoked.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.