The 19-year-old man suspected of robbing and fatally shooting East Feliciana Parish School Board member Broderick Brooks earlier this week confessed to the crime after investigators searched his home, discovering the gun they believe was used in the crime, authorities said.
The Baton Rouge Police Department announced Friday morning that Jacquez Tremaine Griffin, 2918 Chippewa St., was arrested late Thursday night and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of first-degree murder.
At the time of the slaying, Griffin had been out on bail after being accused of armed robbery with a firearm and resisting arrest in an April 8, 2015, incident in which the victim identified Griffin as one of the people who robbed him of his bicycle at gunpoint, an arrest document states.
Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said Friday that detectives are still trying to determine the motive behind Brooks’ slaying.
“We’re hearing different stories, nothing we can confirm at this time,” McKneely said. “(Griffin) gave us a variety of different stories. There’s no way to pinpoint exactly what happened.”
Brooks was found dead behind the wheel of his Nissan Altima in front of a home in the 3200 block of Wenonah Street just after 3:30 a.m. Monday. The engine of the car was still running, police reported.
“(Griffin) stated to detectives that he had shot and killed the victim and had entered the victim’s vehicle after doing so,” the affidavit of probable cause says.
Officers first on the scene reported finding three .40-caliber shell casings near Brooks’ vehicle, and the glove box to his car was open with the contents tossed about on the front passenger seat and on the ground outside the passenger door, the affidavit says.
The base plate, spring and follower of a firearm magazine were found outside the front passenger door of the vehicle as well.
McKneely said detectives lifted Griffin’s fingerprints and other “contact DNA” from Brooks’ car.
“(Griffin) ransacked the car,” McKneely said.
Brooks’ cellphone and wallet were not found at the scene or on him, according to the affidavit.
After obtaining a search warrant, the affidavit says, Baton Rouge police searched Griffin’s home Thursday and found a loaded Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handgun with a damaged magazine hidden within the lining of a suitcase in his bedroom.
An autopsy performed by the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner reveals Brooks died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and upper extremities.
Brooks was serving his second term on the School Board, having been a member for 5½ years.
He also worked full time as the community outreach director at RKM, a health care clinic in Clinton. A singer and organist, Brooks recently had become an ordained minister and was involved in the Breath of Life Church in Clinton, said his cousin Karlyn King.
Brooks also had been editor of The Baker Observer, a newspaper that folded about 2009.
He was married and a father of three from a prominent family. His father, Edward Brooks Sr., is a longtime East Feliciana Parish police juror.
His widow declined to comment on Griffin’s arrest Friday. Attempts by The Advocate to reach out to other family members were unsuccessful Friday.
Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.