Student charged with murder in Grambling State killings
GRAMBLING, La. (AP) — Authorities in Louisiana have charged a fellow student in the deaths of a Grambling State University student and his friend.
Jaylin M. Wayne, a 19-year-old freshman from St. Louis, faces first-degree murder charges in the shooting that killed the two after a fight earlier this week on the Louisiana college’s campus, Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Stephen Williams said in a news release.
The shooting followed an altercation that started inside a dorm room and spilled out into a courtyard about midnight Tuesday, Williams said. Wayne turned himself in Thursday evening after his arrest warrant was issued.
Sheriff Mike Stone said in a statement earlier this week that the suspect and victims knew each other “to some extent.” He stressed that the shooting wasn’t random or an act of terrorism.
“It became apparent very early in the investigation that this was not some random occurrence, that these people did know each other,” Grambling State President Richard Gallot Jr. said in a telephone interview after the student’s arrest.
University spokesman Will Sutton identified the victims as Grambling junior Earl Andrews and Monquiarious Caldwell, both 23 and from Farmerville, Louisiana, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Grambling. It appeared that Caldwell was coming to the aide of Andrews when he was shot, according to a sheriff’s department news release.
Classes have been held as usual at the historically black college in northern Louisiana, where nearly 5,000 students are enrolled.
But Gallot said the campus will have “increased police and security” this week. He also said that student leaders decided to hold a “peace walk” on Friday instead of a homecoming pep rally.
“It’s a very sad and unfortunate situation,” he said.
Andrews’ brother, Ledarius Heard, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that Andrews and Caldwell were friends from high school and cousins by marriage. Heard, 31, said his brother, who lived with him off campus in Ruston, was studying criminal justice and hoped to move to Texas after graduation to be closer to his 1-year-old son.
The deadly shootings happened during the school’s homecoming week. Heard said Andrews typically came home immediately after his classes but had been on campus Tuesday night to hang out with friends during homecoming week.
Wayne’s grandmother, Beverly Wilson, 63, of St. Louis, said the shooting happened after one of the victims said something crass to her grandson’s girlfriend. Wilson said Wayne didn’t seek out the man but later stumbled across him and the other victim amid homecoming festivities.
“I’m just sick,” she said. “I’m hearing my grandson had been getting jumped on ever since he had been down there. I hate that he never said anything about it. He could have come home.”
She said the family had been “so proud” when Wayne left for college and now is trying to pull together money for an attorney.
“We sent him away to learn and better himself,” she said. “He might as well have stayed in this hell here.”
“That was why we were so set on getting him out of St. Louis to go to college,” she said, “to get him out of this mess and confusion.”