HAMMOND — Preliminary findings of a State Police investigation show that a sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed an 18-year-old man outside a village of Tangipahoa nightclub fired his gun accidentally, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reported Friday.
Sheriff’s Deputy William Phebus was attempting to restrain a man believed to be armed and to have fired at least eight gunshots at a convenience store near Club 81 around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 11, when Cjavar Galmon, 18, rapidly approached from the darkness between two parked cars, Edwards said in a news release.
While continuing to try to restrain suspect Marquis Martin, 22, the deputy drew his pistol and accidentally fired once at Galmon, who died at the scene, Edwards said.
State Police personnel handling the investigation briefed Edwards on the preliminary findings Thursday, the sheriff said. The final report on the incident will be turned over to the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, he said.
“I am deeply saddened by what has occurred, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Galmon family,” Edwards said.
Deputies from three separate units arrived at the nightclub after receiving an urgent call for help from a security detail, who reported multiple fights had broken out at Club 81, Edwards said.
The deputies were dispersing the crowd of about 250 patrons when they learned from witnesses that Martin was armed with a handgun and allegedly had fired several shots into a crowd at a nearby convenience store just before to the Club 81 disturbance, Edwards said.
The deputies tried to question Martin, but he fled and was soon overtaken by the deputies a short distance away. The deputies were trying to search and handcuff Martin, who was struggling to free his arms, when Galmon approached and was shot, Edwards said.
Martin was found to be carrying a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol in the waistband of his pants, and ballistic evidence confirmed the pistol had fired at least eight rounds at the nearby convenience store, Edwards said.
Martin was arrested and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on counts of possession of a firearm in an alcoholic beverage outlet and resisting an officer, Edwards said.
A parish jail spokesman said Friday night Martin subsequently posted $10,000 bail and was released from custody.