Sheriff’s deputies arrested a second suspect in the death of a Honduran man who was shot on his front porch Sunday during a holdup by two men who robbed him of his cellphone.
Deputies arrested Jordan Harris, 17, at his mother’s home late Tuesday and booked him into Parish Prison on a count of first-degree murder and armed robbery in the killing of Hancy Sanchez, 24, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The suspected shooter, James Fitzgerald Mills Jr., 18, was arrested Monday morning and booked into Parish Prison on counts of first-degree murder, illegal use of a weapon and armed robbery.
Sanchez was standing on his porch at the corner of Staring Lane and Bayou Fountain Avenue near Burbank Drive, about to smoke a cigarette at about 11:40 p.m. Sunday when two men walked up and asked to borrow his cellphone, according to arrest documents.
Sanchez handed the phone to them, but when one of the men asked for the password to access the phone, Sanchez tried to take back the device, the Sheriff’s Office said, which is when one of the robbers shot him in the head. The two men ran away.
Sanchez’s roommate, Dany Maldonado, ran outside after hearing Sanchez yell, “Dany,” followed by the single gunshot. Maldonado found his friend lying in a pool of blood.
Maldonado called 911, and an ambulance took Sanchez to a hospital where he died Monday morning.
The Sheriff’s Office has received differing accounts from witnesses and the two suspects as to when the handgun was drawn, sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said. Some have said Mills and Harris walked up to Sanchez with the handgun drawn and pointed at him, while others said Mills only drew the gun when Sanchez tried to retake his phone, she said.
When investigators interviewed Harris, of 1445 Jasper Avenue, Baton Rouge, he told them he and Mills planned the robbery, but that he ran when Mills shot Sanchez, the arrest affidavit says.
Mills, of 8773 Old Hermitage Road, Baton Rouge, told investigators he was at Sanchez’s house when the shooting happened, but denied shooting him, according to arrest documents. He provided investigators with the names of several different people who, he said, robbed and shot Sanchez.
Sanchez’s friends erected a small memorial with candles and photos of him on Monday night near where he was shot.
That part of the Gardere area is one neighbors said is fairly quiet and free of crime. However, Sunday’s homicide occurred several blocks from a similar killing more than a year ago. In that shooting, Franklin Lara-Solis, 18, was robbed and shot while sitting in a friend’s vehicle, waiting to play soccer.
Reputed gang member Trevor Georgetown was arrested one month later and has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in Lara-Solis’ death.
Georgetown bragged about killing a “Mexican” and showed a witness the murder weapon, authorities have said. His arrest led to a crackdown of his gang, the “Big Money Block Boyz” by local authorities as part of the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project.
After Lara-Solis’ homicide, some members of the Honduran community said robberies have become commonplace in the neighborhood with robbers often targeting people residing in the U.S. illegally. Many victims are reluctant to report the crime because of their legal status.
While the Sheriff’s Office said Sanchez, who’s from Honduras, was residing in the U.S. illegally, it was not known whether that had anything to do with the robbery.