Two days after a high school football coach was shot and killed outside a Baton Rouge nightclub parking lot, police arrested the alleged shooter and another man accused of helping after the attack.
Baton Rouge Police also released new details about the verbal argument in the early morning hours Sunday that precipitated the shooting of Juan Joseph, who had been an acclaimed college football player and the brother of a former Southern University quarterback Dray Joseph.
Kendric Lentrell Cloud, 25, is accused of shooting the 27-year-old coach outside Allure nightclub, said Cpl. Don Coppola, a Baton Rouge Police spokesman.
He was arrested Tuesday night, as was the alleged getaway driver, 25-year-old Lemark Cloud. The men are cousins, police said.
“I’m relieved,” said Thaddeus Weber, a distant relative of Joseph’s. “I think the victim’s family can get closure.”
Joseph had left the nightclub with two other men. A black Mercedes sedan almost struck one of them in the parking lot, according to an arrest warrant. A verbal argument ensued, and that was when the driver, Lemark Cloud, got out of the car and showed the trio that he had a handgun, the warrant says.
Joseph tried to defuse the confrontation and told his friends they didn’t want to fight. But then Kendric Cloud got out of the Mercedes and allegedly shot Joseph, according to the warrant. He was still alive when the two assailants got back inside the car and sped away, the warrant says. Joseph later died at a local hospital.
Hours after Joseph died on Sunday, community members gathered at West St. John High School in Edgard to mourn the quarterbacks coach, who had graduated from the school and starred on the football team. The team he helped lead faces its first playoff opponent on Friday.
“It was priceless to have him around,” West St. John’s head coach Robert Valdez said on Sunday. “He made us better.”
After high school, Joseph racked up an array of records in a football career from 2005 to 2008 at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He was a three-time winner of the Offensive Player of the Year in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. He logged a school-high 87 touchdown passes in his college career.
“Juan was one of the best players I’ve ever seen wear a Millsaps uniform, and he played one of the biggest roles in our program’s resurgence,” Aaron Pelch, head coach of Millsaps’ football team, said in the release. “His legacy as a football player should not overshadow his dedication as a coach and mentor of young men, and that of a father and devoted husband.”
Joseph was recently married and had one daughter, as well as a child expected to be born later this month.
Both of the accused assailants have criminal records. Lemark Cloud, the alleged driver, was arrested in 2007 and accused of attempted first-degree murder, and five years later, he was convicted of drug-related charge, the warrants says.
Kendric Cloud was released from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison less than two weeks before the shooting. He had spent more than a year in jail on a drug charge before he was released on Nov. 5, court records show.
Kendric Cloud, 7140 Juno Drive, Baker, was arrested on a murder count. Lemark Cloud, 5564 Melrose Blvd., was booked into Parish Prison on counts of accessory to second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, as well as counts of failure to report the commission of certain felonies and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“He was the kind of guy who could bring a community together,” West St. John’s assistant coach Derek “Skip” LaMothe said of Joseph on Sunday. “It’s a big loss.”
Follow Daniel Bethencourt on Twitter, @_dbethencourt.