Derice Bailey

Derice Bailey

On Saturday morning, Deon Haywood copied a Facebook post that her cousin, Derice Bailey, had written on Oct. 30. “I can’t worry about the things and people I cannot change,” Bailey had written. “You only have one life! Live it, people! When they bury me, they will say she lived, loved and enjoyed life!!”

Just over a month later, Bailey was found shot dead in her kitchen, apparently by her former partner, Ronald Mitchell.

According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, deputies responding to a call about a man with a gun arrived at Bailey’s home in the 5700 block of Aero Street in Metairie about 8:30 p.m. Friday.

A few moments later, deputies heard gunshots coming from within the home. Mitchell, 39, then walked out of the house and handed his .38-caliber gun to deputies.

Inside, deputies found Bailey, 35, lying on the kitchen floor suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. She died at the scene.

Friends mourning her loss on Saturday were especially worried about Bailey’s two young children, a girl and boy, who apparently were in the house when their mother was shot down, the friends said.

Bailey was known for being lighthearted, generous and lots of fun, said longtime friend Ilka Ricks. “She had a beautiful personality. She always had a smile, laughter and jokes,” Ricks said.  

Ricks and Bailey met during elementary school at Andrew H. Wilson School and always stayed in close touch, even though they went separate ways for high school — Ricks to McDonogh No. 35 and Bailey to Warren Easton.

But after Bailey met Mitchell, her friends saw a change. “He dimmed her light, putting this dark shade over her,” Ricks said.

Then, about a year ago, Bailey left Mitchell, Ricks said. She and her children moved into the house on Aero several months ago, Ricks said, and Bailey seemed back to her happy self.

But it seemed that Mitchell would not leave her alone, Ricks said. “He kept finding her, kept stalking her,” she said. 

Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato did not respond to questions about whether Bailey had sought a restraining order against Mitchell. He also could not immediately confirm whether the children were in the house during the shooting.