A federal fugitive task force on Tuesday captured the second suspect in a fatal Christmas Eve shooting in St. James Parish who has been on the run from authorities for more than a month.

The U.S. Marshals Service’s Middle Louisiana Fugitive Task Force found Jermaine Lee Lewis Jr., 22, of Lutcher, about 7 a.m. in Baton Rouge and arrested him without incident, St. James Parish sheriff's deputies said.

Col. Sid Berthelot, the St. James Parish sheriff's chief deputy, said Lewis and another man who is already in custody are, at this time, the only two believed to be have been involved in the late night shootings that killed two and injured another. The slayings happened during a block party after the annual Christmas Eve bonfires on the Mississippi River levee.

Sheriff deputies said in a statement the shootings remain under investigation and detectives are seeking more information from the public.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived 11:30 p.m. Dec. 24 to what Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. has described as a chaotic scene at the Neighborhood Lounge — a popular post-bonfire hangout on West Main Street in Lutcher — with bodies on the ground and the sound of gunshots still echoing down a side street.

Detectives believe the shootings occurred over a disagreement among young men from Lutcher and Convent, the sheriff has said.

Thaddeus Watis Jr., 20, and Dedrick Paul Green, Jr., 23, both of Convent, and Jerrell Moody, 25, of Vacherie, were shot in the incident.

Watis and Green died of their wounds. Moody was released from an area hospital several days after the shooting, the Sheriff's Office has said.

The Neighborhood Lounge was also the scene of a shooting on Christmas Day in 2008 when five people were injured.

After Lewis' capture Tuesday, he was taken to East Baton Rouge Parish Prison but is expected to be booked on a second-degree murder count once he is returned to the St. James Parish Prison in Convent, deputies said in a statement.

Sheriff's deputies arrested the first accused shooter, Tyquan Twendell Williams, 24, also of Lutcher, on Jan. 9 and have booked him with a count of second-degree murder.

Deputies said Tuesday that Williams, who has been given bail of $375,000, remains incarcerated at St. Charles Parish jail. 

Those with information about the shootings in Lutcher are asked to call CrimeStoppers at (877) 903-STOP or the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 562-2200.


Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.