A teenager who entered a Louisiana home using a ladder to watch a girl fatally shoot her father shortly after confronting him on Sunday morning, police said.
Authorities in Zachary, a small town about 20 miles north of Baton Rouge, are trying to determine what sparked a shootout between the 17-year-old suspect and Dezmon Jerome Hamilton, 34, the chief of staff said. Zachary’s police, David McDavid.
Hamilton, a well-known local businessman, died on the spot in his living room and the teenager was shot after being shot, McDavid said.
McDavid told NBC News on Thursday that the teenager, whom he did not name, and Hamilton shot each other about 25 minutes after Hamilton grabbed the boy hiding in a closet and brought him downstairs for him to speak. The teenager was there to see Hamilton’s 14-year-old girl, McDavid said.
Hamilton was alerted to the boy in his house by a neighbor who saw the teenager “come in through the window,” McDavid said.
The boy remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon. McDavid said upon his release he would be arrested and charged with second degree murder, unlawful use of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm. He should be charged in juvenile court, McDavid said.
The bloodshed occurred near three potential witnesses, although McDavid was not sure what they saw or heard, he said. They were Hamilton’s daughter, daughter’s mother and daughter’s grandmother. Hamilton had called them at home, McDavid said.
“It’s a tragic loss,” McDavid said. “We have lost a good man who was a promising entrepreneur who was trying to improve this community.”
McDavid, who worked for the city’s police force for more than three decades, said he had known Hamilton and his mother for a long time and had even coached him in a church basketball league.
Relatives of the suspicious teenager could not be reached on Thursday. We didn’t know if he had a lawyer. Hamilton’s family also did not respond to requests for comment.
Hamilton’s obituary said he was a longtime resident of Zachary who was a supervisor at Exxon Lubrication-Port Allen, a member of a Baptist church and owner of a yet to be opened business called “Sweet Corner.” He was also the father of four children, according to the obituary.
McDavid said Hamilton recently bought a property near his home and planned to open a stall that sells crushed or crushed ice, commonly known as snowballs, and a car wash.
The investigation into the exact circumstances of the shooting is ongoing. Hamilton received at least one bullet in the chest. Hamilton and the teenager shot each other with different guns, McDavid said, noting Hamilton had guns in his house.
“Based on what we have seen, based on the information and the evidence, we first suspect the downed youth,” McDavid said.
He also said Hamilton’s daughter allegedly let the boy enter the house through a second story window.
Investigators were unable to speak to the suspect, McDavid said, as he had undergone surgery and was unconscious after the shooting.