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12-year-old girl shot and killed in Central; 2 suspects arrested

1 year 1 month 2 days ago Friday, May 12 2023 May 12, 2023 May 12, 2023 11:00 PM May 12, 2023 in News
Source: wbrz

CENTRAL - A 12-year-old girl was shot and killed Saturday evening after a woman reportedly opened fire in a Central neighborhood following an argument.

According to authorities, the shooting happened around 6:15 p.m. along Forest Grove Avenue. The 12-year-old girl, Cedrica Lee, was with a woman and two other people outside a home in the 14700 block of Forest Grove; Ester Williams, 26, was inside.

Sources told WBRZ that Williams was visiting the home, where her boyfriend, 36-year-old Patrick Johnson, lives. A family member confirmed to WBRZ that Williams and Johnson were involved in a current relationship and that the woman with Lee was an ex-girlfriend of Johnson.

The two women had been in a running dispute, according to relatives and to the official arrest report. Williams allegedly shot at the visitors -- who were inside a parked vehicle on the property -- hitting Lee. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

No other injuries were reported.

Arrest documents show that witnesses told police they saw Williams aim a gun at a Mazda CX9 in the driveway of the house and fire a single shot. According to those documents, Williams then dropped the gun, which was retrieved by Johnson.

Investigators who interviewed Williams said she admitted to shooting at the vehicle, but said she was unaware that someone had been struck. She told them, however, that she heard screaming after she allegedly fired the shot.

Reports show the two suspects re-entered the house. Williams left the home with Johnson, but they were both detained by law enforcement a short time later.

Williams was booked on one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder. Johnson faces charges of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and three counts of accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder.

The gun used in the shooting was not immediately recovered, but was later surrendered by Johnson's brother. 

A relative told WBRZ Lee was a 6th grader at Park Forest Middle School. The girl had gone to the unidentified woman's home to braid her hair, the relative said.

East Baton Rouge Parish School System released the following statement Sunday afternoon:

Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of one of our students. The East Baton Parish Rouge School System has been informed of this tragic event and our Executive Leadership teams have taken action. We are working quickly to inform School Leadership to provide support for those affected by this tragedy.

On Monday, May 15th, the EBRPSS ICare teams, consisting of School Administration, School Counselors, ICare Specialists, and Social Workers, will be at Park Forest Middle to offer support to affected students. Our priority is to ensure the safety and security of our students while providing a plan of action for
postvention.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and Central Police Department each had a heavy presence on the scene Saturday evening.

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