Detectives investigating a double shooting in Harvey that claimed a 15-year-old girl’s life now allege that a man sought to destroy evidence related to the case.
Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, said homicide investigators suspect the alleged activity happened while they were waiting on a search warrant for the home of 18-year-old Romalis Levier, who already has been arrested on a hit-and-run count in connection with a shooting that killed 15-year-old Shamarie Joseph and also wounded a 16-year-old boy.
Levier has admitted to firing back at someone who shot at him in the 1600 block of Apache Drive about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Fortunato, but he previously had been booked only for striking an SUV with his car as he fled the scene. As detectives waited to enter Levier’s home to retrieve evidence, Fortunato said, they spotted 22-year-old Bryan Smith enter the residence.
Investigators believe Smith was there to destroy evidence, although they have not said what. Once authorities were able to enter Levier’s home, according to Fortunato, they found .22-caliber ammunition, marijuana and pills.
Smith was taken into custody, deputies said, but he refused to cooperate.
Smith was booked, and Levier was rebooked, on counts of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Both are in custody at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
Levier has not been booked in the shooting death of Joseph, but deputies are investigating to determine whether to do so.
Joseph was an honor roll student at West Jefferson High School who planned to become a doctor, her family said this week.
Deputies have said she was not an intended target in the gunbattle that erupted on Apache Drive. She was sitting in her aunt’s living room when a bullet came through the wall and pierced her chest. She was taken to University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.