Joshua Henry spent his last day with family.
Henry, 22, went to a relative’s party in Marrero with his girlfriend and her son, a 6-year-old known as “Mighty.” After a Saturday spent chatting with family and watching as kids played on waterslides, his aunt Gail Jacks said, Henry dropped the boy off with her and continued on to a rap show on Garden Road.
What happened next is a mystery. But by the end of the night, Henry was dead.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Henry was found shot multiple times about 10:40 p.m. by a patrol deputy who had heard gunshots in the area. A semi-automatic handgun was found next to his body in the 1200 block of Garden Road in Marrero, according to deputies. He was taken to West Jefferson Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
At about the same time, the Sheriff’s Office said, a woman was found with a gunshot wound to her leg near Garden Road and the West Bank Expressway. Authorities have not released her name, but Jacks said she was Henry’s girlfriend and has since been released from the hospital.
Authorities have not named any suspects or identified a motive in the killing. Col. John Fortunato, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said a “substantial” number of shell casings were found near where Henry was found.
On Monday afternoon, Henry’s family members gathered at the house where he grew up to plan his wake and funeral.
Jacks said her nephew had struggled at times. According to court records, he picked up convictions for aggravated obstruction of a highway and resisting police by force in 2013 and for drug possession in February. But lately, Jacks said, Henry seemed to be on the right path.
Henry rapped under the stage names Lil’ Josh and Menace and dreamed of becoming a star, once even traveling to Philadelphia to record. But by day, Jacks said, he worked at a factory, feeding a machine that printed food labels.
Jacks said Henry loved his mother, Sheila, who suffers from health problems. He was known to drop by the family house just to remind her not to smoke.
Since her son’s death, Sheila Henry has smoked through half a pack of Kools.
She isn’t the only one suffering. Just hours before Henry’s death, at that party in Marrero, someone asked Mighty whether Henry was his stepfather.
“No, that ain’t my stepdad,” the boy replied, according to Jacks. “That’s my daddy!”
On Monday, family members told him that Henry was dead. “He cried his little heart out,” Jacks said.
The Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information on the shooting to call its Homicide Division at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
Jacks said her family is trying to raise money to pay for Henry’s wake and asked anyone interested in helping to visit www.gofundme.com/22uqty6k.