New Orleans police have arrested the alleged gunman and a suspected accomplice in a shooting this week in the Lower 9th Ward that killed two people and wounded five others, including two young boys.
Blair Taylor, 20, and Jeffery Rivers, 25, were booked in connection with the incident after they were identified through Crimestoppers tips, Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
Investigators believe Taylor was the gunman who fatally wounded 16-year-old Jasmine Anderson and 33-year-old Terrance McBride, who police have said was the intended target.
Rivers supplied the getaway car and the gun used, police believe, but they are not certain whether he was with Taylor during the shooting.
Taylor was booked with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Rivers was booked with two counts of being a principal to first-degree murder and five counts of principal to attempted first-degree murder.
Bail had not been set as of Thursday afternoon, according to Criminal District Court records.
The shooting happened a little after 8 p.m. Sunday in the 5400 block of Burgundy Street.
Besides killing Anderson and McBride, the gunfire wounded 2-year-old Jamal Riley, 4-year-old Kyle Romain and their mother, Alaina Romain. All three remain hospitalized.
The boys’ 13-year-old sister also was struck, as was a 37-year-old woman. They have been released from the hospital.
During the course of the investigation, detectives began to search for a stolen Chevrolet SUV that State Police spotted Thursday morning in New Orleans East near Chef Menteur Highway and Alcee Fortier Boulevard, Serpas said.
He said Taylor was behind the wheel and led police on a brief chase that ended in his arrest.
Rivers was found hiding at Taylor’s apartment and was arrested without incident, Serpas said.
After obtaining an arrest warrant to search the apartment, investigators found a gun that was linked to the shooting through ballistics testing, Serpas said.
A stolen Honda Accord believed to be the car used during the shooting also was found at the apartment and was seized.
Neither arrested man is cooperating with detectives, Serpas said.
Investigators continue to search for anyone else who might be involved with the case, Serpas said, suggesting that at least one more arrest could be forthcoming.
He said it’s not yet known whether anyone else was in the car with Taylor during the shooting, but he issued a reminder that anyone who helped to hide either suspect also could face jail time.
“Our message should be clear: We know there are other people involved,” Serpas said. “You know we’re going to find you.”
Detectives have all but ruled out gang involvement as a motive in the shooting, Serpas said. “We’ve scrubbed our gang database ... and we’re not really seeing that in this case,” he said. Instead, he said, a feud over drugs appears to have been the motive.
McBride, who was arrested in January on charges including possession of a firearm or weapon by a felon and distribution of heroin, might have sold drugs at the house where the shooting happened, Serpas said.
Blair has prior arrests for theft of a motor vehicle, illegal carrying of a weapon with a controlled dangerous substance, aggravated battery and theft under $500. He has no convictions on those charges, court records show.
A search of Orleans Parish court records found no prior arrests for Rivers.
Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.