Man arrested hours before memorial for victims
BAKER — A man asked by an acquaintance to work a security detail at a birthday party last weekend where four teenagers were shot was arrested Thursday after telling investigators he was the person who fired two shots into the ground in an attempt to control the chaos.
The arrest was announced hours before a candlelight memorial Thursday night honoring the memory of Marcell Franklin, a 15-year-old girl who died at the party, Kendal Dorsey, 15, and Diontrey Claiborne, 18, both of whom died later at hospitals.
Javaughn Simmons, 19, who was shot in the face, is expected to recover.
On Thursday, the security guard, Donnie T. Cavalier, 24, 8811 Edwin St., Baton Rouge, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of illegal use of a weapon, Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps said.
Cavalier, wearing a yellow shirt with the word “Security” on it the night of the party, told investigators he fired two shots from a handgun outside the Baker Civic Club on March 28 in an attempt to control the crowd after the shootings inside, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Knaps previously said two shell casings found outside the building on North Magnolia Drive possibly could have been fired by a security guard and that detectives were investigating the role of security guards at the party.
Cavalier told investigators he did not possess a concealed weapons carrying license nor did he have any certification or training that would have permitted him to carry a firearm while performing security at the party, the affidavit says.
Police previously arrested Nakeydran L. Williams, 16, the accused shooter of the teens, and booked him into the East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Detention Center on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of illegal possession of a weapon.
After Thursday night’s candlelight memorial service was over, sisters Chasety and Porchea Brown stood in the middle of the crowd still gathered in Baker City Park, without their little sister, Marcell Franklin.
“What can you say. All you can do is stay strong and pray. There’s only so much crying you can do,” said Chasety Brown, a 21-year-old college student.
Porchea Brown, 18, conjured strong and judgmental words for Williams, the teen accused of killing her sister.
“I think he deserves the death penalty. He should never walk the streets again. I have to wake up every morning without my little sister around,” Porchea Brown said.
Diontrey was a senior at Baker High School. Marcell attended Zachary High School and Kendal was a student at Scotlandville Magnet High School. Simmons attends Baker High School.
Thursday’s candlelight memorial was sponsored by a Baker-based organization, People Organized for Nonviolent Youth.
The memorial was predominately religious.
Baker City Attorney Ken Fabre gave some brief statements and read Bible passages.
Local pastors asked the crowd to hold hands and bow their heads in prayer.
White candles were lit while crowd members battled the wind in a struggle to keep the flames from blowing out.
Baker resident Mecho Albritton sang “Precious Lord” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” as the crowd swayed in the dusk.
Wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of shooting victim Kendal Dorsey, his grandmother Mary Dorsey said religion is one of the ways she has been coping with the loss of her grandson.
“I live for the Lord. I believe the Lord gives us strength and he’s going to see us through this,” she said.
Dorsey said she harbors no ill will against the teen accused of killing her grandson.
“He’s a child, too. I’m praying for him,” she said.
Baker’s police chief, who was also at Thursday’s memorial, has said his agency has already interviewed 60 people as his detectives try to figure out why the shootings occurred.
Knaps has said there was at least one fight at the party before the shootings. The chief has also said there were between 50 and 100 people at the party.
Knaps has not ruled out the involvement of gang members in the incident or additional arrests.
Following the memorial, Baker Mayor Harold Rideau called the shootings a tragedy.
“It’s a sad situation,” he said. “Tonight the city came together to praise God and I hope it somehow helps all of us and, most of all, the families of the victims.”