The fetus Breon Stewart was carrying was struck by gunfire in a grisly shooting last week in New Orleans East, Dr. Jeffrey Rouse said Monday, and the fetus’ death should be treated as a homicide, making a total of three in the incident.
Rouse, the Orleans Parish coroner, said in a statement that the gunshot wounds caused the demise of the unborn male child, who acquaintances said would have been born within days.
Stewart, 23, was the girlfriend of Lionel “Bumma” Delpit III, 25, the Big Chief of the Black Feather Mardi Gras Indian tribe, who also was gunned down about 10 p.m. Wednesday inside a vehicle in the parking lot of the Wind Run apartments, 12151 Interstate 10 Service Road.
“Both the mother and the unborn child did receive gunshot wounds in this incident, which caused the fetal demise,” Rouse said. “As this child was of a viable age, I personally consider this a homicide.”
Police, who had been waiting for the coroner’s determination, quickly said they were now treating the shooting as a triple homicide. They intend to book anyone arrested in the case with feticide in addition to two counts of homicide, according to Officer Frank Robertson.
Authorities have not named any suspects in the slaying. Police believe that one or more attackers targeted Stewart, Delpit or both.
Stewart and Delpit had planned to name their son Lionel Delpit IV.
Tyrone Yancy, a friend of Delpit, said last week that the couple had been talking with doctors about inducing labor this week.