NEW ORLEANS — Police on Monday arrested a man they claim is one of three gunman responsible for the shooting death of a 5-year-old girl and a 33-year-old woman during a birthday party last year in Central City.
Police arrested Tyron Harden, 19, at his eastern New Orleans home without incident.
Harden was booked on two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, according to Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office records.
Police allege Harden was one of three men who opened fire on a birthday party in the 1200 block of Simon Bolivar Avenue about 6 p.m. May 29, 2012.
Once the gunfire ended, 5-year-old Briana Allen was struck, as was Shawanna Pierce, who was driving in her car about a block away from the party. Both would die a short time later from their injuries. Three other people were injured, including a 10-year-old boy who was one of Briana’s relatives and was celebrating his birthday.
Police said Harden was a known member of the Young Mafia Fellaz gang and was associated with the 110’ers, another street gang.
A warrant for Harden’s arrest said he shot Briana by accident whle he fired an AK-47 at a member of a rival gang.
Police previously arrested another man in connection with the killings.
Leo Riles, 19, surrendered to police shortly after the incident. He has been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder.
In a news release issued Monday, Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said that homicide detectives are aware of other people involved in the shooting and that they are “actively building an investigation around them.”
Serpas also noted that additional arrests could be coming, because of people “intentionally misguided detectives by giving them false information.”
“I want to commend our homicide detectives for piecing together this unthinkable crime, which involved gunmen actually planning to strike at a child’s birthday party because they knew it would be an easily accessed event, and they’d have ample opportunity to hit their desired target,” Serpas said. “These men didn’t care that they might end up killing one child and wounding another during their attempt, and that’s unconscionable.”
Serpas said that investigators have not received much help from witnesses or neighbors and asked that anyone with information share details.
“Any new pieces of information could prove invaluable in this case,” Serpas said.
Anyone with additional information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111 or (877) 903-7867.