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Suspect arrested in Costco carjacking accused of killing 12-year-old

Tyrese Harris, 18, was arrested Sunday by New Orleans Police Department's Violent Offender Warrant Squad, an NOPD statement said.

NEW ORLEANS — Authorities say a man allegedly responsible for a brutal carjacking at a Costco in New Orleans has been arrested, and he now faces new charges for allegedly killing a 12-year-old child.

The New Orleans Police Department said 18-year-old Tyrese Harris was arrested Sunday by the department’s Violent Offender Warrant Squad. Harris was originally booked on a charge of principle to simple carjacking.

Harris is accused of carjacking Kelleye Rhein on Tuesday while she was pumping gas at Costco. Police say Rhein was fueling her car just before 3 p.m. when Harris climbed into her car and drove off. Rhein was dragged by her own car for about 40 feet through the parking lot. 

Harris is accused of carjacking a woman on Tuesday while she was pumping gas at Costco. Police say the woman was fueling her car just before 3 p.m. when a man climbed into her vehicle’s driver’s seat and drove off. Rhein suffered a fractured skull and several cuts in the attack.

According to the Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate, while being questioned following his arrest in the carjacking, Harris allegedly confessed to killing 12-year-old Derrick Cash who was found dead, shot several times and left on the side of a New Orleans East road in January. Cash was found near a black Jeep Cherokee that was reportedly stolen from a valet at the Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue.

The police department has not released any additional details about the new murder charge against Harris. 

The police department said that Harris was also responsible for an attempted armed carjacking on Jan. 18 in the 700 block of Howard Avenue. He was booked on additional charges including attempted armed robbery, armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated criminal damage to property, illegal use of weapons and illegal carrying of a weapon.

New Orleans Councilmember JP Morrell commended the NOPD on the arrest on Sunday.

“This is what good police work looks like in New Orleans. Veterans detectives working to identify the suspect and V.O.W.S. stepping in to locate and apprehend the suspect,” Morrell said. 

Anyone with information about Harris or any of the other related cases is asked to call NOPD detectives at 504-658-6020.

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