BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (TCD) -- Police arrested a 19-year-old male accused of shooting up an after-prom party over the weekend, killing two and injuring four others.
According to a news release from the Bay St. Louis Police Department, on Sunday, April 30, at approximately 12:34 a.m., officers responded to the 1000 block of Old Blue Meadow Road to a report of a shooting, where they found multiple teenagers, ages 15 to 18 years old, suffering from gunshot wounds. Some victims were already transported to local hospitals before officers arrived.
Four victims were reportedly transported to hospitals in New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana, via ambulance and Life Flight. According to police, three victims were initially in critical condition while the other three were listed as "stable but serious condition."
Police identified Cameron Brand of Pass Christian as the primary suspect and originally arrested him on six counts of aggravated assault. However, two of the victims, ages 18 and 16, succumbed to their injuries, and Brand's charges were upgraded to homicide.
According to WLOX-TV, the 18-year-old deceased victim was identified by family members as De’Arreis Smith. There were reportedly students from Bay High School and Hancock High School at the after-prom party where the shooting took place.
In a statement obtained by WLOX, Hancock School District Superintendent Rhett Ladner said, "I am deeply saddened and troubled by the news of the shooting that occurred at the party last night, and my heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the students who were affected by this tragedy. It is a devastating loss that has left our community in shock and grief."
Ladner continued, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two students who lost their lives, as well as with those who were injured. We know that no words can ease the pain and heartache they are feeling right now, but please know that we stand with you and are here to support you in any way we can. In response to this tragedy, we will be providing counseling support to those who have been impacted by this senseless act of violence."
The Hancock County Sheriff's Office added, "Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, families, friends and school staff of the shooting victims from Hancock High and Bay High during this incredibly difficult time. As a community, let us come together to show our support to everyone affected by this tragic loss of life for so many."