A man was arrested after being accused in the shooting death of a 2-year-old boy, who was killed Thursday night after the suspect fired random shots into the house where the toddler boy was staying.
Louisiana police officials said 41-year-old Kendrick Myles was arrested early on Friday and charged with first-degree murder, among numerous other charges, in the death of Azariah Thomas, who is the toddler son of a New Roads Police Department officer.
Besides his first-degree murder charge, Myles is also facing additional charges of kidnapping, home invasion, attempted second-degree murder, six counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of illegal use of a deadly weapon, and the possession of a firearm by someone who is convicted of certain felonies, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said during a press conference.
Myles was arrested following a standoff with police after the department received reports he allegedly kidnapped his 9-year-old nephew.
Following the alleged abduction, the suspect continued to go on a rampage driving towards multiple homes. At the first location, he fired multiple shots towards a relative, hitting him once in the hand, The Advocate reported. The victim identified Myles as the shooter.
Myles then left the house together with the kidnapped child, driving towards a home located in the Baton Rouge’s Zion City neighborhood, where he is accused of shooting up a house and hitting 2-year-old Azariah. The toddler boy later succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital, the police chief said.
According to police, Myles was not intending to shoot the toddler, but he did have previous issues with the people that live there, The Advocate reported. Details around the issues are unclear.
Myles continued with his rampage after leaving the house in Baton Rouge’s Zion City neighborhood and went to the Scotlandville area, where he started another shootout with a relative who learned about the kidnapping and came to rescue the 9-year-old child. Nobody was injured during that shooting, police said.
Police then responded to the reports of gunfire and after a standoff that lasted multiple hours, authorities managed to rescue the child and safely return the boy uninjured to his family. No shots were fired during the standoff between Myles and the police.
Chief Murphy Paul said he visited the family of the 2-year-old victim and said “when we’re out there trying to find comforting words, it’s hard,” describing the toddler boy as a “beautiful soul.”
“Our detectives see that every day, I want you to think about that, that’s what they do, they see that every day, that trauma,” the police chief said. “I want to commend our detectives for the great work that they do.”
The police chief said they have dealt with Myles previously in 2004 and the department is “tired of seeing the same individuals.”
“This is what I hear from my officers,” he continued. “We have to do better than that.”
Myles was previously jailed in 2004 for trying to kill 11 people in a dispute with a girlfriend, according to WAFB. The police chief is now considering to ask the feds to take over the cases of repeated offenders because the sentences in federal court are tougher.