“Can’t have killers running loose in our neighborhoods”

Published 12:12 am Saturday, February 10, 2018

RESERVE — The suspected shooter in the January killing of a Reserve teenager has been arrested, police say, but work is needed to remove the threat from local residents.

“I just hope now that people know (Rondell) Dewey is incarcerated, they would be less afraid to come forward,” St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said. “I know it is difficult, but we can’t have killers running loose in our neighborhoods.”

Rondell Dewey

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Dewey, 21, on Wednesday, charging the Reserve man with second degree murder. He is being held in custody in lieu of a $750,000 bond.

Police said Dewey is believed to have shot and killed 18-year-old Colay McCovery, who was found dead Jan. 27 after deputies responded to East 27th and Farlough streets in Reserve following a resident’s report of a body in a ditch.

The victim, later identified as McCovery, sustained gunshot wounds to the body.

According to Tregre, McCovery and Dewey knew each other but a motive for the shooting is undetermined. Tregre noted Friday morning that Dewey is not cooperating with investigators.

The sheriff praised the help of community members, adding cooperation is a major factor in the initial arrest. However, more help is needed.

“They know and are telling us what happened, but they just don’t want to go on record,” Tregre said. “I don’t want to see him go free and I don’t think the community does either. I’m not in the business of arresting somebody to lose. None of us are, but I need more and people know more. (The community has) come so far but I just need them to come a little bit further.”

Tregre said Sheriff’s Office personnel have walked the streets and “knocked on all the doors” in the neighborhood surrounding McCovery’s death.

Anyone with information regarding the killing is asked to call the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

Tips can be submitted at stjohnsheriff.org/submitatip.php.

“People have been very helpful,” Tregre reiterated Friday morning, “but they are hesitant and reluctant. I understand and appreciate that but we can’t have killers on the street.”