Antoine Carpenter

Antoine Carpenter

Authorities have arrested a teenager detectives believe was involved in the shooting death of Reginald Cossett Jr., who was shot multiple times and dumped in a Baton Rouge park last month.

Cossett, 23, used his smartwatch to call 911 before he died and told dispatchers he had been dropped off at Highland Road Community Park after the shooting, which occurred in the Gardere area while he was sleeping in a car, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

On Thursday, deputies arrested Antoine Carpenter, 18, who hasn't been accused of pulling the trigger, but was booked into jail on several other counts related to the homicide.

The condition of the victim's clothing led deputies to suspect he had been robbed, according to Carpenter's arrest report. They later learned Cossett was missing his phone and a large sum of money.

Deputies used cellphone records for the victim, Carpenter and at least one other suspect to piece together a narrative of the hours before and after the shooting. Video surveillance also shows a silver car fleeing the scene immediately after the shooting occurred on Pecan Tree Drive, according to the arrest report. 

Carpenter didn't own the car, but he had borrowed it from someone else and was driving it that night, deputies said. The vehicle was set on fire two days after Cossett's death and left in another BREC park. Detectives found that Carpenter's cellphone records place him at the scene of the arson, which constitutes potential obstruction of justice.

While detectives have been unable to figure out who actually shot the victim, they noted that Carpenter "never made efforts to render medical aid to the victim, to seek emergency medical attention for the victim, or to report this incident to law enforcement." Deputies said if they gather more evidence implicating Carpenter more directly, charges could be upgraded. 

Arrest warrants for two additional suspects are forthcoming. One of the suspects is a cousin of Cossett's who was at odds with him over a woman, detectives learned. The cousin's cellphone records placed him inside the car in the moments after the shooting and after it left the park on Highland Road. The other suspect's phone records place him at the scene of the arson.

Carpenter was booked into jail Thursday on one count each of principal to first-degree murder, principal to illegal use of a weapon, principal to armed robbery and principal to obstruction of justice.

Cossett lived with his grandmother in a neighborhood off Perkins Road in south Baton Rouge. He left behind three young daughters.

Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.