NEW ORLEANS -- Two innocent young girls were gunned down in the streets of New Orleans in the last week.
Wednesday night, the NOPD says one suspect is behind bars thanks to a routine traffic stop, and the search is on for at least two other people connected to both murder cases.
“There’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop, and here’s that example,” said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
Londyn Samuels, 1, was shot and killed in Central City last Thursday. Early Wednesday morning about 10 miles away in New Orleans East, the NOPD says 24-year-old Keelen Armstrong was pulled over for speeding at Interstate 10 and Crowder Boulevard.
Serpas said he was arrested because he had outstanding warrants and a connection, police now say, to Samuels’ death in the 2800 block of S. Saratoga.
“It turned out Keelen had attachments for his arrest for driving on a suspended license,” Serpas said. “Keelen was arrested on those charges, and at about the same time, detectives had determined Keelen was involved in the shooting death of 1-year-old Londyn Samuels.”
With Armstrong behind bars, Serpas said detectives are also honing in on at least one other person they believe is connected to Samuels’ murder and the attempted murder of her 18-year-old babysitter, who is still recovering from her injuries.
The NOPD isn’t releasing a name, but the department did share the identity of a person of interest in the murder of 11-year-old Arabian Gayles, who was killed early Monday morning while sleeping at a home in the 1300 block of General Ogden Street in the Carrollton area.
Police say a stray bullet hit the girl in the head. She later died at the hospital.
Now police want to question 33-year-old Keith Ward. Detectives believe he may have information on that case.
“We believe that Keith Ward was on the scene and we have an opportunity to talk to him and we want Keith to give us that chance,” Serpas said.
They are breaks in two murder cases that have left two innocent girls dead. Their relatives are grieving and outraged, and citizens are demanding change while police continue to hunt down Londyn and Arabian’s killers.
“Out of the tragic death of Londyn and out of the tragic death of Arabian, we’re going to make these people responsible,” Serpas said.
Serpas said few tips have come in, and he’s asking the public to step forward if they know anything about either case or Ward’s whereabouts.
If you can help solve these cases, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.