METAIRIE – An attempt to steal drugs from an apartment where the residents were known to deal them was the motive behind the killing of four people and the attempted killing of another early Wednesday morning at an apartment complex in Metairie, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.
Armande Stephen Tart, 20, who lived in Kenner, was arrested at a residence in Kenner around 3 p.m. Friday. He was booked with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder along with other counts.
The deceased victims included 40-year-old Kyle Turner, of LaPlace; 56-year-old John Henry of Metairie; and 61-year-old Rosemary Charles of Metairie.
Turner was shot twice in the head, Henry and Charles were each shot once in the head. A fourth victim in the apartment is a 33-year-old female. She is in the hospital in stable condition.
“We had previously arrested all of the victims for drugs,” said Normand.
Also killed was 56-year-old Harold Frisard, who was stabbed more than 40 times. Frisard lived in a nearby apartment and Normand said he had often let Tart spend time with him. In fact, he was the reason that Tart eventually came to the complex and got to know the people he killed.
Normand said the break in the case came because Tart stole a cellphone from one of the victims and it was found near Shirley and DeGaulle drives in Algiers. State Police and JP examiners processed the DNA recovered from the phone in expedited fashion, according to Normand.
Normand said there was video of Tart at the scene of the crime, but that he had hidden himself behind a sheet and later tried to destroy the cameras by shaking them off of the poles.
While Normand said they believe Tart acted alone, they are still looking for Turner’s stolen vehicle.
Normand said police rushed to get the information about the arrest out to the public because of the amount of “anxiety and angst” among the people living in the neighborhood who were scared by the killings.
Normand went on to talk a little about the drug lifestyle that he and his officers confront, saying that the age of these victims was unusually old for drug dealers.
“The life span of a drug dealer is not a long one,” he said.