Brian “B.J.” Banks and Kevin Aguillard were inseparable, with the 15-year-old Banks “hanging out all the time” with his 17-year-old friend, said B.J.’s brother-in-law, Ron Banks.
That close friendship made only more tragic B.J. Banks’ shooting death early Tuesday morning.
Aguillard, who remained at the scene, was arrested, accused of shooting and killing his friend while they were playing with a handgun, said Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola.
Aguillard, 4888 Hooper Road Apt. A-208, Baton Rouge, was booked Tuesday into Parish Prison on counts of negligent homicide and illegal use of a weapon.
Aguillard had been staying with Banks at the Hooper Pointe Apartments on Hooper Road where both teenagers lived, Coppola said.
The two were playing with a loaded handgun in Banks’ room about 3:30 a.m. when the handgun went off, striking the teen under the chin, according to police and the victim’s relatives.
Ron Banks, whose last name is coincidentally the same as his wife’s maiden name, said he did not witness the shooting but Aguillard told him it was an accident, which B.J. Banks also said before he died.
Surrounded by several family members standing in front of their first-floor apartment Tuesday morning, Ron Banks said he and his wife were asleep in another room when they heard the gunshot.
Banks said he carried the teenager outside to give him more air. “He kept saying that he was hot,” Ron Banks said.
Banks said the teen was bleeding heavily and that he told him to lean his head forward so he didn’t choke. He brought the boy outside on the steps, and then B.J. Banks asked to lie down.
“And then he was just gone,” Banks said.
He said B.J., the youngest of eight children, was living at the apartment with him and his wife, who is the teen’s sister, and their four children. Banks held out B.J.’s school ID, which he was wearing around his neck, and said the boy was staying with the family while attending nearby Greenville Superintendent Academy.
“Everyone who knows (Aguillard) knows he didn’t mean it,” Ron Banks said of the shooting. “(Aguillard) stayed with him. He would’ve left, you know?”
Ron Banks said neither he nor his wife knew anything about a gun in the house, but police told him it was .22 caliber handgun.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office was scheduled to perform an autopsy Tuesday afternoon. Bail for Aguillard had not been set as of Tuesday afternoon.