A teenager shot three other teens and the father of one of his victims, who allegedly tried to retaliate against him, during a chaotic episode of violence Wednesday evening in St. Rose, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Je’Merius “Bam” Beason, 17, faces two counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of negligent injury in connection with the teens’ shootings.
Deputies allege that Beason meant to shoot a 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy but also inadvertently wounded a 15-year-old girl who was with him and tried to stop him from opening fire.
Cyrus London Sr., the father of the 19-year-old victim, tracked Beason down later Wednesday night, got into a gunfight with him and was wounded, St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne said at a news conference Thursday.
The elder London, 39, faces a count of attempted second-degree murder himself following the gunfight with Beason, who was not hurt and is considered the victim in that exchange.
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Champagne blamed the carnage on “bad blood” between Beason and the 19-year-old victim, which possibly started because of a romantic triangle involving a girl. The sheriff didn’t elaborate on a motive beyond that.
According to Champagne, deputies responded to a report of gunfire outside a strip mall in the 100 block of St. Rose Avenue about 6 p.m.
Investigators later concluded that Beason was the attacker. The 19-year-old victim was shot in the chest and abdomen, and a relative took him to a hospital in Kenner.
A 16-year-old boy who was also shot outside the strip mall was initially being driven to an emergency room by a friend or relative, Champagne said. But someone accompanying him waved down an ambulance, which took the injured boy to University Medical Center in New Orleans for treatment of bullet wounds to his legs, Champagne said.
The 15-year-old girl, who was imploring Beason not to fire at the two other teens, was shot in the index finger; she went to a hospital in Kenner, Champagne said.
Shortly afterward, London Sr. was informed that his 19-year-old son had been shot by Beason and began driving toward the strip mall. He encountered Beason in front of a home in the 400 block of Turtle Creek Lane and tried to shoot him, Champagne said. He missed and, in return, was shot near one of his pectoral muscles by Beason, Champagne said.
Champagne said that Beason’s family turned him over to the Sheriff’s Office after he went home later in the evening. Deputies arrested London Sr. after he was treated at a hospital and discharged.
Both men remained behind bars Thursday. London’s bail was set at $500,000 and Beason’s at $400,000, parish jail records show.
Investigators have recovered 9mm and .40-caliber spent bullet casings but have not found the weapons used by the two shooters. Champagne warned that anyone caught hiding the guns would face arrest.
He expressed disbelief that “a dispute among teenagers” could drive one of them to seek “a permanent, fatal, deadly solution.”
Champagne also said he was worried about a state law approved in 2016 that goes into effect next year and calls for all 17-year-olds accused of crimes — including violent ones — to be booked as juveniles. Currently, 17-year-olds suspected of violent crimes can be booked into adult jails.
The state’s juvenile detention centers are frequently filled to capacity, and detainees are often released without bail — or on low bail — to comply with population limits, Champagne said. “We got a problem, and it’s going to get worse,” he said.
However, the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights, which represents defendants in Juvenile Court proceedings in New Orleans, issued a statement disputing Champagne's claims. The organization cited statistics compiled in 2017 that it said showed more than half of the state's 13 juvenile lockups "had at least 12 beds available on an average day."
Note: This post was updated to include a statement from the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights.
Four people were shot Wednesday night in in St. Rose in two separate shootings that the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office believes are conne…