Candice Lewis mug shot

Candice Lewis, via OPSO

A New Orleans East woman fatally shot a former friend last week not far from the woman's home, police allege.

Investigators on Tuesday booked Candice Lewis, 36, on a count of second-degree murder in the June 4 slaying of Nia Lassai, 21, in the 7200 block of Bunker Hill Road, court records showed Tuesday.

Lassai was killed two days after the fatal shooting of 38-year-old Nicolas Pierre at the nearby corner of Bunker Hill and Yorktown Drive. However, court documents outlining Lassai’s killing do not suggest it is related to Pierre’s.

Police found Lassai in a patch of grass after she had been shot. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said they zeroed in on Lewis as a suspect after speaking with a witness who claimed to have seen someone running from the scene of the deadly shooting while shouting, “Candy just killed somebody.”

According to police, Lewis then got a ride to her home in the nearby 7000 block of Boston Street and arrived holding a pistol.

The pistol’s slide was locked back, as if it had been fired, and the weapon was “legally owned by a person close to” Lewis, according to police.

A confrontation between Lewis and family members then ensued, police said. Lewis allegedly denied that she shot anyone but also told a relative, “I’ll shoot you, too,” before fleeing.

Another unidentified person who spoke with investigators described driving Lewis to the scene where Lassai was slain. The purpose was to buy drugs, police said, without elaborating.

Lewis and Lassai — who were apparently ex-friends — then left together, and gunfire erupted about 15 minutes later, that witness allegedly told police.

That witness said she then ran back to the vehicle, where Lewis was waiting with the door open, according to police. The pair immediately drove to the home on Boston Drive, where Lewis “violently” confronted a man, the witness claimed.

Police said video captured by city crime cameras showed Lewis getting out of a car, hurrying into her home, and leaving a short time later.

They obtained a warrant to arrest Lewis on Saturday, and she was jailed about noon Tuesday. A court commissioner set her bail at $750,000. She remained in custody Tuesday evening.

Lewis would face life imprisonment if convicted of murdering Lassai.


Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.