2003 John McDonogh High School shooting


2003 John McDonogh High School shooting

At 10:30 a.m. on April 14, 2003, two armed men entered the school gymnasium of John McDonogh Senior High School" [http://www.nola.com/speced/cycleofdeath/index.ssf?/speced/cycleofdeath/student.html Student's death sparks crescendo of revenge] ." "The Times-Picayune".] in the Mid-City neighborhood [" [http://www.nola.com/speced/cycleofdeath/index.ssf?/speced/cycleofdeath/hotzone.html HOT ZONE] ." "The Times-Picayune".] of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States and executed 15-year old" [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DM&p_theme=dm&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0FA9A263D87BD994&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM Pointless tragedy's postmortem] ." "The Dallas Morning News". April 22, 2003.] Jonathan "Caveman" Williams, a high school American football player.

hooting

The killers entered the school property via gaps in the fence. Immediately after students and faculty entered the gymnasium, the killers, armed with an AK-47 and a handgun,"The Gangs of New Orleans." "TIME". [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1194016,00.html 1] .] entered and fired at least 18 times, destroying half of Jonathan Williams' face and killing him before he could use his handgun, hidden in his waistband." [http://nola.live.advance.net/news/t-p/metro/index.ssf?/base/news-17/1158829217114200.xml&coll=1 4 plead guilty in killing at school] ." "The Times-Picayune".] The bullets injured three neighboring girls, and a pregnant senior was trampled by a stampede of students. [" [http://www.nola.com/speced/cycleofdeath/index.ssf?/speced/cycleofdeath/student.html Special Report - Murder] ." "The Times-Picayune".] [" [http://www.louisianaweekly.com/weekly/news/articlegate.pl?20030428f Madness and mayhem] ." "The Louisiana Weekly".] The perpetrators left after Jonathan Williams died. The injured recovered.

The courts found that Steven R. Williams [ [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=AD&p_theme=ad&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0FA813EAA66BB2A5&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM NewsLibrary Search Results ] ] (not related to Jonathan Williams) and James Tate committed the shootings, while Raymond Brown, Tyrone Crump, Herbert Everett, and Michelle Fulton (Smith's girlfriend and a student of John McDonogh) conspired in the killing. The two killers were told that Williams conspired in the murder of Hillard "Head" Smith IV, Brown's cousin and a student at Joseph S. Clark High School. Hillard Smith was found dead from gunshot wounds in front of an abandoned house on April 7, one week before Jonathan Williams died. Articles of "The Times-Picayune" stated that police believed that Smith's friends and family believed that Jonathan Williams killed Hillard Smith. [ [http://www.nola.com/speced/cycleofdeath/index.ssf?/speced/cycleofdeath/violence.html VIOLENCE THRIVES ON LACK OF JOBS, WEALTH OF DRUGS] ." "The Times-Picayune".]

Jacquielynn Floyd of "The Dallas Morning News" said that the story would not have made national headlines if the killers had not killed Jonathan Williams in a school gymnasium and injured three bystanders and instead killed him off campus.

Interviewing witnesses

After the event, officers commanded by Jimmy Keen, a lieutenant with the New Orleans Police Department, attempted to interview witnesses at school and their houses. The "TIME" article described the event as having 150 witnesses. Keen said that the students responded to questions from the officers with "shrugs and stares." Keen said that his sergeant said that he feels "like the Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq. The people in the neighborhoods don't want us here. They don't speak our language. They won't talk to us.'"

Aftermath

ubsequent killings

On October 27, 2003 two people related to Smith received fatal injuries after an ambush. 76-year old Myrtis Bickham, a retired automobile mechanic and Smith's grandfather, and 31-year old Roosevelt Brown Jr., one of Smith's cousins, received assault rifle gunfire shortly after 9:00 PM outside 2324 Ursuline Street. [http://209.85.207.104/search?q=cache:dxhxuohjM1MJ:www.cityofno.com/Portals/Portal50/portal.aspx%3Fportal%3D50%26load%3D~/PortalModules/ViewPressRelease.ascx%26itemid%3D937+Myrtis+Bickham&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us Double Murder Investigation] . "New Orleans Police Department". October 27, 2003.] Brown had a handgun with him at the time of his death; a "The Times-Picayune" article said that he may have worried about his own safety. Bickham received gunshot wounds to the head and torso and was declared dead at the scene. Roosevelt Brown also sustained head and torso wounds; he died hours after the shooting at the Medical Center of Louisiana. On October 30, a close friend of the Brown family died. 24-year old Kenya Ambrose, a welder at an Avondale, Jefferson Parish shipyard, died at the 2300 block of St. Bernard Avenue three days after the killings of Bickham and Roosevelt Brown occurred; the location of Ambrose's death is within walking distance of Bickham's house. Police believe that Ambrose died because of his relationship with the Brown family.

Investigators believed that the Williams family was not directly responsible for the killings; investigators said that friends and associates of Jonathan Williams tried to avenge the high school student's death by killing everyone that they believed had responsibility for the death, even though the suspects were already in prison.

entencing of responsible parties

The court system convicted Steven Williams of second degree murder and Steven Williams received a life sentence. Tate pleaded guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to commit second degree murder and received a 15-year sentence. On September 20, 2006 four people with less direct involvement plead guilty and received their sentences. Raymond Brown plead guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit second degree murder and received nine years. Crump plead guilty to accessory after the fact and received five years. Everett plead guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit second degree murder and received five years. Fulton plead guilty to the same charge as Everett and Raymond Brown and received five years. Everett and Fulton, in prison since 2003, received credit for time served after sentencing in 2006. Crump and Raymond Brown made bail months prior to the sentencing and faced re-arrest due to a weapons charge.

References


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