New Orleans police have arrested a 20-year-old man accused of the fatal shooting of local musician Kermit Ruffins’ 20-year-old niece.
Police arrested suspect Will Reed late Saturday during what was described as a routine traffic stop and booked him on a count of second-degree murder in the death of Milan Arriola.
Reed previously had been accused of attempted first-degree murder in a 2012 case.
Besides being Ruffins’ niece, Arriola was the daughter of New Orleans Police Department Officer Imani Ruffins and New Orleans Fire Department Capt. Roy Arriola Jr.
The NOPD was first notified at 8 p.m. Friday about a woman shot inside a Chevrolet Camaro at North Board Street and St. Bernard Avenue. When officers arrived, they found the victim suffering from gunshot wounds to the body. She was transported to a hospital, where she died.
Police said they learned the victim had been a passenger in the Camaro driving near Allen and Humanity streets when someone in a dark sedan began shooting at the car.
The Camaro’s driver managed to get the car to St. Bernard and North Broad, where it stopped because of damage from the gunshots, police said.
During the course of the investigation, police said, Reed was identified as the person who did the shooting. Police publicly identified him as a suspect about 5 p.m. Saturday.
Sometime later Saturday, 7th District Officer Reginald Koeller conducted a routine traffic stop at Interstate 10 and Read Boulevard. When he discovered the passenger in the front seat was Reed, Koeller arrested him without incident, police said.
Reed was transported to the NOPD’s Homicide Section office, where he refused to answer questions.
He later was booked into Central Lockup on a count of second-degree murder.
He appeared in court Sunday, according to Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office records. His bail was set at $350,000.
As of June 12, Reed was being sought for what court records listed as failing to pay fees and fines associated with a prior case, when he pleaded guilty to several charges of aggravated battery. He also had been booked on attempted first-degree murder in that case, which began in 2012.
His bail in that case was set at $200,000 on July 1, 2012. He was booked on several counts of aggravated battery, several counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.
Over the weekend, fans took to social media to offer condolences to Kermit Ruffins and his family, and he responded publicly on Sunday.
“WHY WHAT REASON? FOR WHAT?” Ruffins mused on Twitter, adding: “Thanks for y’all prayers.”