5th carjacking arrest made

New Orleans Police announced the arrest of a fifth suspect in a fatal Algiers carjacking that Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas called one the worst crimes he’s ever seen in two decades of police work.

Serpas called a news conference on Thursday afternoon to announce the capture and arrest of Milton Wilson, 17, who had been wanted for first-degree murder for more than a month. Serpas also praised homicide detectives for their “phenomenal” work in solving the homicide of Fernando Eyzaguirre, 27, who was fatally shot in a botched robbery in Algiers on Nov. 25.

Serpas said the arrest of Wilson and four other suspects in connection with the shooting is proof that police are turning a corner in the fight against crime.

“We will look everywhere to find people who commit violence in this community,” Serpas said.

Eyzaguirre was found dead shortly after 2 a.m. in a strip mall parking lot on General DeGaulle Drive in Algiers. Serpas said a surveillance video of the incident shows the victim being shot without provocation after being removed from his vehicle by several people.

Police already booked Mark Simmons, 20, with first-degree murder in connection with the case and booked Desmonique Reed, 18, Jariod Washington, 17 and Eric Doucet, 17, with being accessories to the crime. Serpas said Reed is the girlfriend of one of the suspects, while Doucet and Washington were drivers.

Several law enforcement officials called the video of the shooting deeply disturbing, and Serpas reiterated that several times during his news conference. He said he’s seen surveillance videos of many crimes, but nothing like what happened to Eyzaguirre. He added that the brutality of the crime and the age of the suspects is a sign of deeper issues in the community.

“It’s a horrific example of one of the worst homicides I’ve ever had to see,” Serpas said. “I have seen many of these films in my career, and this is one of the most cowardly I’ve ever seen in my 20-year career.”

Serpas said that several of the suspects made incriminating statements while being questioned by police but declined to elaborate on what was said. He also declined to discuss the weapon used in the crime.

Eyzaguirre’s car was eventually recovered in Waveland, Miss., where one of the suspects was arrested. Serpas would not discuss what Eyzaguirre was doing in the parking lot at that time, and the video apparently shows him waiting for 30 minutes at the business.