At the intersection of Mamus Avenue and Bennett Street in Algiers, the crime tape may be gone but neighbors still remember the late July day two 20-year-olds were found burned and shot to death.
“We never had nothing like this happen on our street,” said neighbor Kathy Miller. “And I think it was awful for that to happen to those two kids.”
But now a break in the murder case of Gavonte Lampkin and Shantrell Parker. Police have arrested Michael Tyron Robinson, 24, and Kirk Powell, 23.
“Both Robinson and Powell are now in custody in the Orleans Parish Justice Center,” said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. “We had enough information to put (together) an arrest warrant that was signed by a judge for the arrests for second degree murder for those two suspects.”
At a news conference Wednesday, Harrison did not give a motive in the murders of Lampkin and Parker. According to Ramon Antonio Vargas and our partners at the New Orleans Advocate the suspects were among a group of men arrested October 3rd after police raided a home on Springbrook Lane in Algiers. Before he was killed, Lampkin had been the target of two previous shootings and was preparing to testify against Christopher Butler, 23. Harrison, however, did not say anything about Butler who is currently out on bond for other charges.
The arrest warrant says a witness claimed Powell and Robinson killed Lampkin and Parker at a home on Tullis Drive in Algiers, that witness even as going as far as saying they saw the bodies at the home. But other witness accounts conflicted on which suspect killed which victim.
Regardless neighbors are happy to see progress in the case, especially Miller, who knows all too well what it’s like to lose a loved one.
“I had a son who got murdered,” said Miller. “I know how (these) mother(s) felt. I would just tell (them) ‘keep praying and trust in the lord’ and he going to see (them) through.”
Robinson had bonded out after the drug arrest but was re-jailed Wednesday afternoon.
Powell’s bail is at $1 million, according to the Advocate. Both would face mandatory life imprisonment if eventually convicted of murder.
Ramon Antonio Vargas contributed to this report.