After the shooting death of 1-year-old Londyn Samuels shocked the nation with its apparent brutality and randomness, police in New Orleans yesterday arrested a 24-year-old man on a charge of suspicion of first-degree murder.
The man, Keelen Armstrong, was apprehended in what police called a “coincidence,” after he was pulled over Wednesday morning during a traffic stop and officers discovered outstanding warrants and brought him to jail.
Eventually, detectives connected Armstrong to Londyn’s killing. Superintendent Ronal Serpas said a second suspect was being sought, but he refused to comment about a possible motive or how detectives connected Armstrong to the killing.
Serpas also announced that authorities had identified a “person of interest” in another shocking shooting in New Orleans—the death of 11-year-old Arabian Gayles, who was shot along with her cousin and an unidentified man on Monday morning.
After the death of 1-year-old Londyn, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared “enough is enough.”
Londyn, who was just learning to walk, was struck by a bullet that was fired into her 18-year-old nanny’s back as she carried the baby home from the park Friday. The shot went through the nanny’s body and hit Londyn in the chest. The nanny, who was expected to survive, called the child’s father and said, “‘Kee, we got shot — me and Londyn,'” Londyn’s father, Keion Reed, 20, told NBC News.
Two men were spotted running from the scene.
“This is an example that there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop,” Serpas said after announcing that Armstrong had been identified after the traffic stop.
Angela Robertson, a family friend and spokeswoman, told NBC News, “we are not sure of the motive or who this person is.
“It is a relief for us to know that the monster is locked up,” Robertson said.
In the Labor Day fatal shooting of Arabian and the shootings of her cousin Paulreiona Cary, also 11, and a 38-year-old man whose identity still hasn’t been released, police said they were seeking Keith Ward, 33.
But Serpas said Ward was being sought because he might know something about the shootings, not because he was necessarily a suspect.
Four young children were in the home with Arabian, who was holding a 1-year-old in her arms when a gunman opened fire outside, getting off more than a dozen rounds.
Derek Moffett, Arabian’s uncle, told NBC station WDSU that he ran to the young girl when the bullets started flying, but he didn’t reach her in time.
“When I woke up, I heard them screaming,” he said. “I jumped out of my sleep. I ran over, I grabbed her, touched her. She wasn’t breathing.”