One person has been booked on manslaughter and one on attempted second-degree murder in a shooting incident Tuesday in Harvey that claimed a 15-year-old girl’s life, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Honor roll student Shamarie Joseph, 15, was killed and Emmett Garrison IV, 17, was wounded about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Joseph was sitting inside her aunt’s house and was hit by a bullet that came through the wall.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said that on Wednesday, Garrison told Homicide Detective Daniel Lincoln at University Medical Center that he was in front of the house in the 1600 block of Apache Drive and was hit during an exchange of fire between Romalis Levier, 18, and an unknown person.
He initially said he was unarmed and that someone else was shooting at Levier. Immediately after he was shot, however, Garrison told family members that Levier had shot him, Fortunato said.
Crime scene technicians and firearms examiners recovered and processed at least 19 spent 9 mm shell casings and several .22-caliber shell casings, Fortunato said. Ballistics tests linked all the 9 mm casings to the same handgun, which also was used during two attempted armed robberies in which shots were fired and one armed robbery in which a victim was shot, Fortunato said.
All three of those incidents occurred within a short period of time on the same night in early December.
Fortunato said Garrison was identified through a photographic lineup as a lookout in one of those incidents, and robbery detectives obtained arrest warrants for him in all three of the cases.
Garrison and Levier were connected to the Apache Drive homicide as well as the armed robberies through ballistic links, Fortunato said, and investigators concluded that Levier fired his .22-caliber handgun at Garrison and that Garrison shot at Levier with his 9 mm gun.
A Ruger .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered in a garbage can in the rear yard at the home of Levier, Fortunato said. Its serial number revealed it had been stolen in an armed robbery in New Orleans in early December.
After the weapon was found, Levier told investigators he went to the house with the intention of confronting Garrison, who he said was previously involved in a shooting incident with a close friend of Levier’s. Since that time, he said, Garrison had been threatening Levier’s safety.
As Levier confronted Garrison with his handgun, Fortunato said, Garrison produced his own gun and fired at Levier, prompting him to return fire.
Given the fact that Levier was in possession of a stolen firearm when the gunbattle erupted, resulting in the death of Joseph, investigators issued an arrest warrant for him on a count of manslaughter, Fortunato said.
He said Garrison was booked on attempted second-degree murder of Levier.
Bryan Smith, 22, also has been booked on drug counts and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice after he was found at Levier’s house. Detectives said he and Levier were trying to destroy evidence.