A woman who told authorities her boyfriend accidentally shot himself early on Christmas Eve has been arrested and booked on manslaughter after it was determined the shooting was a homicide, Kenner police said Thursday.
According to Kenner Police Department spokesman Lt. Brian McGregor, officers responded to a report of an accidental shooting at 245 Clemson Place about 12:30 a.m. Dec. 24.
A 25-year-old man, later identified as Akoya Skeith, had been shot in the abdominal area and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Skeith’s girlfriend, Dominique Kendra Wix, told the officers that Skeith had removed a handgun from his waistband and it accidentally discharged, striking him.
While conducting an autopsy, McGregor said, the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office found that Wix’s story didn’t match up with the victim's wounds.
According to the autopsy, the bullet had entered on the lower left side of his abdomen and exited his right torso about three inches higher. That, coupled with the fact that Skeith also had a graze wound on his left arm and a “lack of marks from discharging a firearm at close range,” led the coroner to determine that the man could not have shot himself.
Confronted with the new evidence, McGregor said, Wix admitted she had lied about the shooting. He said she told detectives that on the night of the shooting, she and Skeith had been in their upstairs bedroom when he "made an aggressive move” in her direction while a firearm was in his waistband. She said she grabbed her 9mm handgun from an end table, pointed it at him and shot him because she was frightened.
Wix then changed her story, police said, and said she had pointed the gun at her boyfriend in a “playing” fashion and that the two were not involved in any type of argument.
Friends and family members of Skeith's flocked to Facebook and other social media in the days after his death, remembering the young man as a father and friend. Online records show Skeith attended O.D. Wyatt High School in Fort Worth, Texas, before moving to New Orleans.
When reached by phone Thursday, a family member of Skeith's declined comment. "Right now, we're not in a state to say anything," the woman said.
Wix, 29, was booked on manslaughter and remains in police custody, McGregor said. Her bail has not yet been set.