Injured man arrested in shooting deaths of two SU students

A Waggaman man, still recovering from a gunshot wound, has been arrested in Tuesday night’s shooting deaths of two Southern University students in Harvey.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office are looking for the man who dropped him off at the hospital.

Investigators began questioning Jeremy Coleman, 19, of No. 23 Cynthia Street in Waggaman, after he was dropped off Tuesday night at West Jefferson Medical Center, Col. John N. Fortunato, commander of the sheriff’s Public Information Office, said in an email on Friday.

“While being treated, Coleman provided investigators several different versions of how and where he was shot,” Fortunato said. “Investigators were able to disprove each account provided by Coleman, and, as a result, Coleman was booked with two counts of second degree murder in the deaths of Nikiayh Westerfield and Dave Harrison.”

Coleman remains in West Jefferson Hospital, under guard, with a non-life threatening injury.

Homicide Detective Gary Barteet identified Irvin Harris, 20, of 2716 Chinkapin Drive in Harvey, as the man who dropped Coleman off at the hosptial in a 2008 Chevrolet GMC Envoy, registered to Coleman’s mother.

Harris was stopped in Metairie while driving the SUV on Thursday night and agreed to come in for questioning, but fled while investigators were out of the interview room discussing his explaination.

Harris told investigators that Coleman and dropped him off at a friend’s home in Harvey and then returned for him after being shot, Fortunato said.

Harris wasn’t found during a search of the building and the surrounding neighborhood.

Based on the inconsistencies in the information from Harris, investigators issued arrest warrants charging him with two counts of second degree murder in the deaths, Fortunato said.

Westerfield, of 828 Keller Ave. in Westwego, and Harrison, 19 of 1109 Cook St. in Gretna, were enrolled at Southern University in the spring and had registered for the fall, confirmed Ed Pratt, assistant to the chancellor for media relations.

According to earlier reports, sheriff’s officers responded around 11:58 p.m. Tuesday to reports of gunshots in the Woodmere subdivision, finding the dead men in a black 1998 Chevrolet, S-10 Blazer twith the front passenger side door open across from 4012 Paige Jeanette.

According to officers:

Westerfield, sitting in the driver’s side, had a substantial amount of what appeared to be marijuana lying in his lap, officers said. A semi-auto handgun found near his leg was determined to be stolen in a vehicle burglary on Aug. 2 in Harvey, officers said.

Harrison was found lying across the rear seat. A medium caliber handgun was found near his body.

Indications suggests the incident may have been drug related.

Contact Barteet at (504) 364-5300 or through the Crimestoppers Tip Line at (504) 822-1111 with information about the case or Harris’ whereabouts.