Junior Verney mug

Junior Verney, via the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office

A convenience store employee fatally shot a man with whom he had been arguing over money and who threw a large rock at the windshield of his car early Friday, New Orleans police said.

Junior Verney, 22, of Gretna, was booked on one count of second-degree murder following the slaying at the Sterling Express store in the 9200 block of Airline Highway, in Hollygrove.

Police haven't released the name of the slain man, who they said was 29 years old.

According to investigators, Verney was at work about 5 a.m. and was arguing with the victim over money owed to Verney when the fight spilled outside the store and turned physical.

Verney went into the store while the victim picked up a large rock and flung it at the windshield of Verney's car, damaging it, police said.

Verney then grabbed a gun and went back outside to confront the other man, who started running away. Verney fired several bullets, and the man was struck more than once and fell in a grassy area near railroad tracks across Airline's eight lanes of traffic and neutral ground, police said.

After first responders were called, paramedics tried to aid the victim, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Verney waived his right to remain silent and recounted what he said had happened to investigator Richard Chambers, who was helping Homicide Detective Maggie McCourt with the case.

Police said surveillance camera video from the store corroborated the versions of events from both Verney and another witness with whom they spoke.

Authorities jailed Verney by Friday afternoon. In his mugshot, he is seen wearing a black T-shirt with the Sterling Express logo.

He would face mandatory life imprisonment if convicted of murder.

The processing of the crime scene for evidence snarled rush-hour traffic for more than an hour Friday morning, with investigators cordoning off a stretch of Airline and blocking at least two westbound lanes.

The killing happened a few months after 27-year-old Desmone Jerome was gunned down at the Shell gasoline station to which the Sterling Express store is attached. Jerome was known better by many as the rising local rapper BTY Young'N.

Orleans Parish prosecutors on Thursday secured indictments against two men accused of killing Jerome on April 29.

Staff writer Helen Freund contributed to this report.

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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