PORT ALLEN — Deputies have made a second arrest in Saturday’s fatal shooting of a Brusly man, the latest development in an emotionally charged rift between two West Baton Rouge Parish families.
Within a two-week period, Port Allen brothers Marcus Richardson, 22, and Carl Richardson, 23, both of 1434 Freeman Lane, were arrested and booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail with second-degree murder in the deaths of Brusly cousins Justin Warner, 18, 3826 Choctaw Road, and Etan Irvin, 28, 3314 Lukeville Lane, in the parking lots of two different gas stations along La. 1, authorities reported.
Deputies said Marcus Richardson is suspected of fatally shooting Justin Warner, a Brusly High School student, on May 13 at the La. 1 Exxon Truck Plaza while his brother, Carl Richardson, allegedly shot and killed Irvin at the Racetrac service station directly across the street on Saturday.
Police have said Irvin may have assaulted Carl Richardson in retaliation for Warner’s death.
The day after Irvin’s death, the victims’ cousin, former LSU football star Norman LeJeune, was apprehended and booked with making violent threats against residents living in the brothers’ neighborhood, police reported.
The latest development came around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday when West Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies arrested Marvin C. Cobbs Jr., 23, at his home without incident and booked him into parish prison on one count of principal to aggravated second-degree battery stemming from the assault against Carl Richardson, Detective Kevin Cyrus said Thursday.
The entire ordeal now has Debra Richardson, mother of Carl and Marcus Richardson, fearful for the life of her son, Denzel, 18, the only child she has left living with her.
“I worry every minute,” she said. “I’m keeping him close. I regret any of this happened.”
After LeJeune’s arrest in allegedly making the threats, Debra Richardson, 49, said she has instructed her youngest child to stay away from the slain cousins’ relatives as they grieve.
Members of the slain cousins’ family did not return calls for comment.
Richardson said she would love to reach out to Warner and Irvin’s relatives, but she’s afraid to do so because she doesn’t know how they would react.
“I’m not upset with them,” Richardson said. “I could have lost my children, too.”
Col. Richie Johnson, of the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, said Thursday he feels people’s attitudes and reaction toward the violence may be moving in a positive direction as talk of revenge seems to be subsiding throughout the community.
“We’re serious about our zero tolerance on these types of incidents,” Johnson said. “If you’re involved in any way, shape or form, you’re getting charged.”
The conflict began around 10 p.m. May 13 with the death of Warner.
Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton has said Warner was cut down by random gunfire during a dispute involving Marcus Richardson and several other people in the La. 1 Exxon Truck Plaza parking lot.
Clayton said Warner drove up to the gas station and had stepped out of his vehicle when he was fatally wounded.
But Debra Richardson said Tuesday police weren’t releasing all the facts of the incident and asserts her son, Marcus, was “fighting for his life” with the other individuals when Warner was shot and killed.
“They put it out there like he was innocent,” Richardson said of Warner. “He was fighting, too. It was a gang of them fighting Marcus.”
But Johnson said surveillance footage from the gas station clearly shows Warner was not involved in the first incident.
A grand jury charged Marcus Richardson with second-degree murder on May 24, according to court records.
Things escalated between the two families around midnight on Saturday, when police said Carl Richardson was attacked by Etan Irvin as Richardson was reaching for a drink in a cooler inside the Racetrac gas station.
Cyrus said Thursday that Cobbs, 3762 Lukeville Lane, was engaged in the same altercation as well.
According to the booking report, while Cobbs struck and restrained Richardson, Irvin pulled down a fire extinguisher that was hanging on a nearby wall and hit Richardson on the head.
After Richardson escaped Irvin’s grasp, Cobbs fled the scene, according to the arrest warrant.
Shortly after the altercation, Carl Richardson went to his vehicle and pulled out a revolver and shot Irvin in the torso, killing him, police said.
Carl Richardson was booked into the Parish Prison on Monday with second-degree murder of Irvin.
According to the arrest warrant, Cobbs told police he initially was trying to intervene and stop Irvin from assaulting Richardson but became engaged in the fight as well.
Police records state that video surveillance footage from the gas station corroborates Cobb’s story.
LeJeune entered the picture the next day following Irvin’s death when he allegedly made violent threats against residents living on Rev. Manuel Street in Port Allen. The two slain men, Warner and Irvin, are LeJeune’s cousins, police said.
Col. Johnson has said LeJeune wasn’t aware the brothers actually lived on Freeman Lane, which is a block away.
Deputies arrested LeJeune on Sunday and booked him into parish prison on counts of making terror threats, resisting arrest and public intimidation of a police officer.
Johnson said LeJeune was released on Tuesday after posting $10,000 bail.