HOUMA, La. -- Police arrested a Houma 18-year-old today on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the Sunday shooting death of a longtime Catholic deacon.
Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis said his department's investigation led officers to seek Randy James Wallace of Thomas Drive for questioning in the death of Connely Duplantis.
The 66-year-old, a longtime Houma resident and deacon at Annunziata Catholic Church, retired about two years ago to Gloster, Miss., and was visiting his parents on Carolyn Avenue when he was shot and killed about 1 p.m. Sunday.
About 2:45 p.m. today, police received a tip that Wallace was in a burgundy Chevrolet Caprice bound for Gray. Police spotted the car on Martin Luther King Boulevard near Sam's Club in Houma and arrested Wallace without incident, Chief Duplantis said. Wallace was questioned then booked into the Terrebonne Parish jail.
Asked if Wallace admitted to the shooting, Chief Duplantis said “let's just say the information he presented in questioning was enough to charge him with first-degree murder and armed robbery.”
Police are still searching for 17-year-old Leron Calloway, who led officers on a foot chase near the Carolyn Avenue crime scene Monday, police said.
Chief Duplantis said police “definitely believe Calloway was involved,” and he is considered armed and dangerous.
Earlier today, Houma Police issued a news release identifying Wallace as a person of interest and did the same for Calloway on Monday. Also today, police released a photo from a business's surveillance camera that they say shows Wallace and Calloway shortly after Sunday's shooting.
Family members said Duplantis' his cellphone was missing. Authorities have not confirmed that, but the police chief said “definitely, we believe the motive was robbery.”
A wake for Connely Duplantis will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at Annunziata Catholic Church in Houma with funeral services immediately following. He will be buried at the Holy Family Church Cemetery in Grand Caillou.