Victim a college athlete
LAFAYETTE — Police arrested an 18-year-old Lafayette man Tuesday in the Sunday shootings that killed a 19-year-old college basketball standout and seriously wounded a 23-year-old man, both from New Iberia.
Kentrell James Morrison, 206 Florence St., Lafayette, was booked on counts of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the shootings, Lafayette police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said Tuesday.
The victim of the fatal shooting was identified Monday as Frederick Joseph, 19, of New Iberia.
The second victim, whose name was not released, has been released from the hospital and is recovering at his home, Mouton said.
Police have said the shooting occurred at 2:30 a.m. Sunday outside Taco Bell, 2406 W. Congress St.
Police initially reported the victims were gunned down in the parking lot by an occupant of an older model Pontiac Bonneville.
In Morrison’s arrest affidavit, Detective Paul Trouard wrote Morrison fired multiple times directly at a group of men in the parking lot.
Afterward, Morrison got into the back seat of a green Pontiac Bonneville and the vehicle fled the scene, Trouard wrote.
Witnesses provided police a license plate number for the vehicle and a description of the suspect, Trouard wrote.
Police located the vehicle and the two front-seat passengers, who both confirmed Morrison “jumped into the rear seat of their vehicle after the shooting, appeared nervous, and told them to quickly leave the scene.”
One of the occupants also told police that Morrison was seen with a pistol just prior to the shooting and was the only person standing directly in the area where the shots were fired, Trouard wrote.
Morrison later admitted to being at the scene and leaving in the vehicle, but he denied any involvement in the shooting, Trouard wrote.
The victims were shot multiple times in their backs as they ran from the shooter, Trouard wrote.
Joseph was struck in the back and the other man was shot in the back and leg, police have said.
The occupants of the vehicle were not arrested as “We currently believe he did act alone,” Mouton said Tuesday.
Joseph’s stepfather, Dwan Gibson, said Tuesday he had not heard all the details about the shooting, but “as far as we know, (Joseph) was not the intended target.”
Gibson said his stepson was on an athletic scholarship to North Dakota State College of Science, a two-year college in Wahpeton, N.D.
Joseph was at home on semester break and was expected to return to the school as a starting point guard for the basketball team, his stepfather said.
Gibson described Joseph as “ambitious, well-driven and respectable.”
“He was just an all-around great kid,” Gibson said, adding that basketball “was his life.”
Joseph was a 2011 graduate of Westgate High School in New Iberia.
As a high school junior, Joseph posted on a berecruited.com, a recruiting website, that he was interested in playing basketball and getting a great education.
“I have a 3.2 grade-point average, and I would love to major in civil engineering,” Joseph wrote.
Joseph closed his brief summary with optimism, emphasized by all capital letters, “MY COACH IS EXPECTING BIG THINGS FROM ME THIS YEAR.”
The new basketball coach at North Dakota State College of Science, Stu Engen, said Tuesday he had only had the opportunity to speak with Joseph by phone.
“I found Fred to be very, very polite on the phone. I found him to be have a strong positive reputation on campus,” said Engen, who was hired in May. “People liked him. He was soft-spoken and conducted himself in a very positive manner. He was also more than eager to lend a hand in our efforts to better our program.”
Engen, also the athletic director, said Joseph would have been the highest returning scorer for the team.
The coach said he plans to speak with the school’s administration and the returning players to determine how best to honor Joseph.
“I think something should be done. Like I said, he was held in high regard,” Engen said.