Teen gunman caught

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 1, 2008

By ROBIN SHANNON

Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Authorities in St. John Parish have made two arrests in connection with a shooting outside of a LaPlace trailer home on July 17.

Lt. Dane Clement, a spokesman for the St. John Sheriff’s Office, said 17-year-old Shaquille Matthews, 372 Pine St., LaPlace, turned himself in to deputies Wednesday evening. Deputies have been searching for Matthews since a warrant was issued on July 24 for his arrest.

Clement said investigators have also taken a 16-year-old juvenile into custody as an accomplice to the shooting. Clement declined to release the name because the suspect is underage.

Matthews is accused of shooting a 15-year-old male in the back with a shotgun. Also wounded in the attack was a 16-year-old boy, who received a minor injury to his finger from shotgun pellets.

 According to a report from the sheriff’s office, just before the 9:30 p.m. shooting, the two victims were behind the trailer home when the suspects approached them with an unidentified firearm and started a fight. The suspects took an undisclosed amount of cash from the victims and ordered the victims to leave the area.

The report said that as the victims were climbing a fence to get out of the area, shots were fired in their direction. The 16-year-old told investigators he saw the 15-year-old get shot. He then helped him into the trailer until authorities arrived. The suspects then fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Both victims were transported to River Parishes Hospital in LaPlace for treatment of their injuries. The 15-year-old, who was just recently released from the hospital, was treated for a gunshot wound to the middle right side of his back, while the 16-year-old was treated for a minor hand injury and released.

Clement said Matthews was booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace on two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery. Clement said District Court Judge Sterling Snowdy set bond at $360,000.

Clement said the juvenile, who was arrested this past Tuesday, was also given a $360,000 bond.