BR man shot to death in Lafayette
LAFAYETTE — The 20-year-old Baton Rouge man who died Sunday of injuries from a gunshot wound early Saturday morning was a loving, kind and respectful young man but also troubled in a way his adoptive father says he could never figure out.
John Joseph Dean was so well liked, but “even though he was a loving, caring kid, he was troubled in some way in his mind,” James Evans, of Baton Rouge, said Monday afternoon. “He only could connect and befriend himself with people that had personalities totally opposite of him.”
Lafayette police found Dean lying in the yard of a home at 610 Goldman St. Saturday at 6:30 a.m. Dean had suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest. He died the following day, Cpl. Paul Mouton, spokesman for Lafayette police said Monday.
Witnesses told police that Carl J. Phillips, 32, of Lafayette, shot Dean while the two men were arguing, Mouton said, adding that detectives are still trying to determine the motive for the shooting.
Police are searching for Phillips on a warrant for second-degree murder. Phillips is believed to still be in the Lafayette area, Mouton said.
Evans said his adopted son’s troubles began only a couple of years ago, when Dean turned 18. The family adopted Dean at the age of 13, he said.
Dean was arrested two or three times on misdemeanor charges, Evans aid.
He also was arrested on a simple burglary charge in January 2011 stemming from the alleged burglary of a North Star Food Services 18-wheel tractor-trailer rig, according to records from the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s office.
Last year brought an arrest in Mississippi on an armed robbery charge, Evans said. Dean spent about a year awaiting trial and was released from a Mississippi prison with credit for time served about two months ago after pleading to a reduced charge of simple robbery, Evans said.
After his release, the family spent money and time helping Dean get back on his feet, including registering him at
Baton Rouge Technical College, where he recently
passed all his entry exams and was accepted into the school’s welding program, Evans
“He was all set and ready to start class in the middle of August … He was excited,” Evans said. “He said, ‘Pops, I’m going to do this.’ ”
Evans said he was shopping Saturday morning when he learned Dean had been shot.
Evans said he was told his adoptive son was shot in a “known drug area” but said Dean did not deal or do drugs. He said he has learned since the shooting that Dean had been in Lafayette with some friends and cousins.
“Why he went up there, I have no idea,” Evan said. “I’m trying to wait for the investigation to finish so the truth can come out.”
Dean is expected to be buried in Lafayette. Kinchen Funeral Home will handle
the services, although times have not yet been set, Evans said.
Anyone with information as to Phillips’ whereabouts is asked to call Lafayette police or Crime Stoppers at (337) 232-TIPS.
Staff writer Kimberly Vetter contributed to this story.