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Letroyed Strowder

Baton Rouge police have made an arrest in the April shooting death of Tremell Tumblin, 20, a new father who was killed inside his family's Scotlandville home. 

Letroyed Strowder, 18, was booked into jail Tuesday on several counts, including first-degree murder, after investigators also linked him to at least two separate armed robberies in recent months in the Scotlandville area.

Tumblin died on April 17 after being shot in the 9000 block of Lewis Street. Police said then that the shooting followed "some type of argument" with an unknown assailant who fled before authorities arrived.

Investigators later learned that two people came to the door of Tumblin's house in the moments leading up to the shooting and forced their way inside, according to Strowder's arrest report. Tumblin immediately fled toward the back of the house to retrieve his firearm and the intruders chased him, firing several shots down the hallway.

Witnesses told police they heard Strowder and Tumblin begin fighting in the back of the house, followed closely by more gunshots. Strowder asked "where is it at?" repeatedly and Tumblin replied: "It's in my pocket," according to the arrest report. 

Police also noted that Tumblin's pocket was empty by the time investigators arrived on scene. A gun light was lying next to his body and witnesses said the victim usually kept it on his handgun, but the gun was missing, police said. Investigators concluded that the victim and Strowder "had been fighting, possibly over a firearm."

Strowder checked into the hospital around that time with a gunshot wound to his left hand, according to the arrest report. He initially told detectives he was shot in the Belaire neighborhood, but later admitted he "may have been inside the house on Lewis Street" and "may have had his hand on a gun in a struggle when his hand was shot."

He wouldn't say who he was struggling with, police said. But Strowder did tell detectives he was wearing black Nike slippers when he was at Tumblin's house that night, which matched the description of a shoe recovered from the scene.

Detectives also recovered 9 mm casings from the scene and later found a 9 mm handgun and illegal drugs when they searched Strowder's house.

Police noted in arrest documents that Tumblin was selling marijuana out of the house where he was killed.

While investigating the homicide, police also linked Strowder to two separate armed robberies in the same area.

The first occurred March 6 outside a store at the intersection of Scenic Highway and 73rd Avenue when Strowder and another person tried to fight with a juvenile victim, who fled the scene but lost one of his shoes in the process, according to police.

The juvenile told his father that Strowder had taken his shoe and the two went to Strowder's house to get it back, police said. But Strowder instead pulled out a gun and demanded that the father and son empty their pockets. A pack of cigarettes fell out of the father's pocket, which Strowder took.

The second armed robbery occurred at a Scenic Highway gas station on March 23. The victim told police Strowder approached him with a gun and began firing the weapon while the victim tried to take cover behind his vehicle, according to arrest documents.

Strowder then took $30 from the vehicle's center console before the victim retrieved his own gun and fired at Strowder, who ran off, police said. Detectives reviewed surveillance footage, which matched the victim's account.

Strowder, of 2038 Sobers Ave., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison on first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, illegal carrying of weapons with drugs and armed robbery. 


Follow Lea Skene on Twitter, @lea_skene.