With help from a federal fugitive task force, a photo lineup and evidence from an autopsy, Baton Rouge police made an arrest this week in a shooting that left a 20-year-old man dead the day after Christmas.
Gevartise Taran Armstead, 27, was booked Wednesday on second-degree murder and illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities in the death of 20-year-old Devontae Long.
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According to an affidavit for Armstead’s arrest, BRPD responded to reports of a shooting around 11:20 a.m. on Dec. 26 in the 5000 block of McClelland Drive — a residential neighborhood bounded north to south by Hollywood and Evangeline streets and west to east by North Foster Drive and La. 190.
When they showed up, officers say they found a man suffering from several gunshot wounds.
Paramedics tried to save him, to no avail, police say.
Detectives later identified the victim as Long.
After interviewing witnesses, police say they determined that Long was walking north on McClelland to meet someone when he got into an argument with two other men.
Witnesses reportedly told police that Long “disengaged” from the verbal fight and began to walk away. That’s when he was shot by the two men he’d been arguing with, per the affidavit.
The two suspects ran away, police say.
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During the course of the investigation, detectives say they spoke to a witness who described what the suspects looked like in enough detail to point to Armstead as the gunman in a photo lineup of six similar-looking men.
BRPD says that witness account combined with projectiles removed from Long’s body by the coroner helped detectives zero in on Armstead as a suspect.
Baton Rouge police say they made the arrest Wednesday with help from the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.
The Dec. 26 shooting was one of several to take place over Christmas weekend in Baton Rouge, which ended 2021 with a record number of homicides.
Police initially spelled the victim's name as Devonte Long but later clarified that his name is Devontae Long.