Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty
HAMMOND, La. (WGNO) — The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office held a news conference Monday, announcing the arrest of seven people in relation to the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old in Hammond on Saturday (Oct. 8).
According to Chief of Operations Jimmy Travis, a party involving high school-aged juveniles in the St. Paul Loop area led to the gunfire, killing 16-year old Hammond High School student Leonard Williams.
Travis said the events unfolded when a female student at the party went live on social media, dancing, angering her 17-year-old boyfriend. The girl’s boyfriend confronted the girl at the party, throwing her to the ground. Another teenage boy argued with the boyfriend, and the dispute led to two groups of teenagers, shooting at each other from two cars.
The driver of one of those cars, 18-year old Jaylan Williams, and 6 other people were arrested, including the grandmother of one of the suspects.
Williams and three other teenagers are accused of second degree murder.
Travis said the grandmother, 64-year old Ella Bickham, was arrested because she was told about the shooting but she did not come forward with the information.
Travis said the victim, Leonard Williams, was in the car driven by Jaylan Williams– but got out of the car before the gunfire started. As he tried to get away, he was caught in crossfire.
Deputies are still looking for at least one more suspect, and Travis said deputies also want to know how the teenagers got their guns– one of which was a tactical rifle so powerful that its bullets punched holes in the brick walls of one of the houses in the neighborhood.
“We will continue to investigate as to how these juveniles came into possession of these firearms. If it is determined that crimes were violated as a result, charges will be dealt accordingly,” said Travis.
“We want to find out who provided these weapons to these juveniles. These juveniles went to a high-school party armed to the teeth.”
The Sheriff’s Office recovered 30 rounds of ammunition and three guns, including the tactical rifle.
- 18-year-old Jaylyn Williams – charged with obstruction of Justice- evidence Tampering, second-degree Murder, and 3 counts of contributing to Delinquency of Juvenile.
- 18-year-old Corey Williams- started an altercation with deputies who were processing the crime scene then retrieved and gun and fled the scene.
- 17-year-old- taken to Florida Parish Detention Center for Obstruction of justice, Second-degree murder, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile, and illegal use of a weapon.
- 17-year-old – principal to second-degree murder.
- 16-year-old taken to Florida Parish Detention Center for Obstruction of justice, Second-degree murder, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile, and illegal use of weapons.
Detectives are still looking for information relating to this incident. Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident, is asked to please call Crime Stoppers at 800-554-5245.