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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in connection with two homicide investigations stemming from incidents that occurred late last month that left a total of four people dead. 

According to the report, 18-year-old Tyrone Steele, who turns 19 on May 5, was arrested on Wednesday, March 30 at a residence in the 1800 block of Touro Street. A SWAT roll was initially called as Steele was considered ‘armed and dangerous.’ However, seven people, including Steele, surrendered peacefully to NOPD officers at the scene.

Tyrone Steele (Photo: NOPD)

Seven firearms were found inside of the residence. No injuries were reported in this operation and no weapons were discharged by anyone involved in the incident. 

NOPD details on the homicides are listed below:

  •  A homicide by shooting on March 21 in the 4100 block of Encampment Street. The incident was initially signaled as an aggravated battery by shooting. Third District officers arrived on the scene and located three individuals – two adult males and one adult female – inside of an apartment, all having sustained gunshot wounds. The victims were declared deceased at the scene. Upon completion of the autopsy, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office identified the victims as 21-year-old Amya Cornin, 27-year-old Darrin Williams and 24-year-old Nehemiah Jones.
  • A homicide by shooting on March 26, at the intersection of Morrison and Gannon roads. The incident was originally reported as an unclassified death, where Seventh District officers located the body of an unknown male subject floating in a canal. After an autopsy, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office determined that the victim had sustained a gunshot wound to the head and ruled the death to be a homicide. The Coroner’s Office today identified the victim in this incident as 20-year-old Shane Brown.

A special grand jury selected by Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams handed up indictments against Steele, charging him with four total counts of first-degree murder between the two incidents. 

Steele was arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center on four counts of first-degree murder. He was also booked with aggravated criminal damage for a shooting in the 3800 block of St. Bernard on Feb. 27.

Investigators are working with the District Attorney’s office to determine these individuals’ possible involvement in other violent crimes.

Forensic tests are pending on the confiscated firearms. 

Several officials issued statements regarding Steele’s arrest, including New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams and NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.

Here is what they had to say:

I’m proud of the work the NOPD has done and grateful for the strong partnership with the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office that helped make this success possible. In the fight to make our city as safe as it can be, everyone has a role to play. That includes stakeholders and partners in the criminal justice system, and it includes our residents in the community. If you see something, say something.   

Mayor LaToya Cantrell

The indictment and arrest or Tyrone Steele is another excellent example of how the NOPD, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, and our state and federal partners are working in tight coordination through our enhanced VCAIT initiative to help make this city a safer place to live and visit. 

The hard-working men and women of our department but a strong case together and the District Attorney wasted no time indicting a very dangerous individual based on evidence gathered through their efforts. We look forward to more success through this ongoing collaborative effort.

NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson

Now, that the courts have resumed jury trials, the public is now finally seeing the results of strong partnership between law enforcement and prosecutors to build strong cases based in evidence to secure justice for victims and the community. Since we have returned to court, the DA’s Office has secured convictions in every single case that has gone to trial. We have secured guilty pleas in over 200 cases since the start of the year and we have secured guilty pleas in over 1700 cases across 3500 charges last year. Since April 2021, we have been able to accept 62% of felony cases. In each of those instances, it would not have been possible without the hard work of the officers, detectives and investigators that work for the NOPD, and other law enforcement, providing our office with the right information and evidence to move forward in cases. This strong, necessary partnership is the reason we are standing here today announcing the indictment and arrest of one of the most violent criminals in New Orleans – Tyrone Steele. Through this indictment and arrest, I hope that the people of New Orleans understand that the criminal legal system hears you and we are surging back against crime with everything we have. I am grateful for hard, smart work of the DA’s Office, NOPD, ATF and FBI on this case; we have been able to get a dangerous criminal off the street.

District Attorney Jason Williams

Thank you to the New Orleans Police Department, the Orleans Parish District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their diligence, perseverance and partnership. The arrest of Tyrone Steele is the product of successful collaboration and coordination with our local, state and federal partners, as well as the steadfast commitment of NOPD officers and detectives to address violent crime. This administration will continue to have a laser focus on these individuals who commit harm and utilize every resource to hold these individuals accountable and end the cycles of violence and trauma within our community.

Criminal Justice Commissioner Tenisha Stevens

Anyone with additional information that can assist in the investigations into either of the homicide incidents is asked to call NOPD Homicide Unit detectives at 504-658-5300.