When Lesly Reed-Wilson last saw her brother and a friend of her family on Sunday night, they were chatting and laughing outside the Washington Court home where her brother lived.
But when she drove back to the home in the 5300 block of Washington Court two hours later, Reed-Wilson found her brother, Lester Reed, 32, lying in his front yard with a bullet wound near his chest, still breathing but unable to speak, while family friend Tevin Crump, 19, lay dead beside him with a knife protruding from his torso.
Police say a verbal dispute boiled over into violence when Reed stabbed Crump about 9:30 p.m. Sunday — but before Crump died from stab wounds, he managed to shoot Reed, who died later at a hospital, said Cpl. Don Coppola, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.
The two deaths shocked a family that had come to view Crump as a brother-in-law since he had been dating Reed’s sister, Brittni Clark, for about two years, Reed-Wilson said.
“He was part of the family,” Reed-Wilson said of Crump. “It made no sense. I don’t understand how it got to this point to where they wanted to kill each other.”
Crump’s brother, Cody Crump, 23, also was distraught Monday.
“I’m really messed up about it. He was a good person. I don’t get it,” he said.
In the three months leading up to the fatal argument, Crump had been all but living with Clark and her family in the house, which sits at the foot of dense woods just north of Evangeline Street. Reed had returned to the home earlier this year after a stint in federal prison. He had been sentenced to nearly six years for a firearms conviction, court records show.
Reed-Wilson said the two men were friends and often drank and smoked outside, but Reed also was suspicious of Crump over the alleged mistreatment of his sister. Police say Crump punched his girlfriend of three years in the face in a convenience store parking lot on Sept. 17, but she tried to fight back with a pen, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Reed didn’t want Crump dating his sister and was frustrated that Crump spent so much time at the home.
Reed-Wilson also had seen prior disagreements between the two men. About a week ago, Reed tried to get Crump to leave the property, but Crump refused and the two became so irate that the police were called, Reed-Wilson said. But no one was arrested in that incident.
About 9:15 p.m. Sunday, Reed demanded that Crump leave once again, and Crump at first refused. But eventually, Crump began to walk away from the house and made it to the end of the front yard — just a few yards from the home’s front door — when something Reed yelled caused Crump to turn around and become even angrier, said Alexis Leonard, 15, who is another sister of Reed’s and was at the home during the incident.
As the two men approached each other, Reed started stabbing Crump, and Crump fired a single shot at Reed, Leonard said. She said Reed staggered a few feet across the yard until he collapsed on the ground while Crump stood over him and tried to fire again — but the gun jammed. Moments later, Crump collapsed alongside the man he had been trying to kill with a knife still buried in his torso.
Reed-Wilson, who happened to already be driving back to the home, arrived a few minutes later to find the men lying where the yard meets the road.
She said Crump had stopped breathing, while her brother was blinking and looking around but unable to speak. She said she spent about 10 minutes pushing on her brother’s chest in an effort to help before medical attention arrived and someone pulled her away from her brother’s body.
“I wish I could have gotten here sooner,” Reed-Wilson said. “That (argument) never would have happened.”
Reed’s cousin, Kyeshia Chambers, said of Reed: “He held most of the family together. He was a loving person, and we can’t replace him.”
Crump was attending a local adult school to get his GED, and Reed had picked out a location to open a thrift store off La. 1 in Plaquemine.
Crump leaves behind Clark, who is pregnant with his child, and Reed also has a child on the way, Reed-Wilson said.
Follow Daniel Bethencourt on Twitter, @_dbethencourt.