Arnaudville man shot, killed during carjacking
LAFAYETTE — A 15-year-old is accused of killing an Arnaudville man Sunday at a Lafayette flea market, just minutes after deputies left the area after investigating a reported theft, according to a timeline laid out Monday by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies have detained the boy on one count of first-degree murder in the death of Michael Patin, 49, who was killed at the Jockey Lot flea market in Lafayette where he worked, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Kip Judice said.
Judice said Patin was shot in the back after approaching the 15-year-old, who is believed to have been trying to steal a vehicle in the parking lot just after 11 p.m. Sunday.
“He saw an individual in the parking lot and he went out to confront that individual,” Judice said.
Judice said deputies were initially called out to the Jockey Lot off Interstate 49 at about 9:14 p.m. Sunday to respond to a theft in progress.
While the deputies were on their way, a group of boys tried to speed out of the parking lot and crashed into another car and a gate before fleeing on foot, he said.
Deputies and officers with the Carencro and Lafayette Police departments surrounded the area and captured four juveniles after using dogs to search in and around the flea market, Judice said.
He said the deputies left the scene with the juveniles at about 11:05 p.m.
“Seven minutes later, we received a call that Mr. Patin had been shot,” Judice said.
Judice said the 15-year-old boy has not given a statement about what happened. But, investigators believe he was with the group of boys but had eluded capture and likely came back looking for a vehicle to get home.
“We believe he may have come back to get a vehicle,” Judice said.
He said interviews with the first group of boys led detectives to the home of the 15-year-old, where he was arrested at about 5:47 a.m. Monday.
A vehicle stolen from the Jockey Lot was found two doors down, Judice said.
Donna Howard, a vendor at the Jockey Lot, said she had heard from witnesses to the shooting that the 15-year-old had demanded the keys to a Jockey Lot truck and Patin had handed them over.
“There was no reason for that little guy to shoot him,” she said.
Patin had worked at the Jockey Lot for several years, helping manage the site and directing parking as weekend crowds descended on the large flea market in northern Lafayette Parish, Howard said.
She said Patin often stayed on weekend nights in a travel trailer on site.
“Mike wouldn’t hurt a flea,” Howard said. “He didn’t even have a gun.”
The 15-year-old, the four juveniles arrested initially and one other juvenile believed to be involved are being held in Lafayette’s juvenile detention center, Judice said.
Only the 15-year-old faces a charge related to the shooting.
The others, ranging in age from 12 to 16, face charges of criminal trespassing, unauthorized use of a movable and illegal possession of stolen things, according to information from the Sheriff’s Office.
Those juveniles also are being investigated for other crimes in the area, Judice said.
The Sheriff’s Office has not released the names of any of the juveniles involved.
The 15-year-old likely will be prosecuted as an adult and face a possible life sentence, assuming a grand jury indicts him in the case, 15th Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson said.
Harson said his office has discretion on whether to prosecute juveniles as adults, but he almost always prosecutes murders in adult court, regardless of the age of the defendant.
“It’s very seldom on a first-degree murder charge that I’m not going to take him to adult court,” Harson said.