UPDATE: Teen killed in park shooting graduated from LaGrange four days before death

Published 3:59 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

A warrant has been issued for a Lake Charles teenager accused in a fatal Wednesday night shooting in Huber Park.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kayla Vincent said deputies were dispatched to the park in the 2400 block of 4th Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. in reference to shots fired. She said the person who alerted deputies of the shooting heard several shots fired and saw a white car fleeing the area.

Vincent said the victim, 18-year-old Markell B. Jackson — who graduated from LaGrange High School four days earlier — was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound and died of his injuries.

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Jackson was a safety on LaGrange’s football team and a center on the basketball team.

“We would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, students and faculty for the loss of our recent graduate, Markell Jackson,” the school wrote on its Facebook page. “We are truly heartbroken to learn of his passing. Markell was such a  respectful, authentic, and genuine student. To graduate was definitely one of his proudest moments, and we were so honored to be a part of it.”

The school said its counseling department would be available for any student who may need help in the grieving process.

Vincent said after reviewing surveillance footage in the area where the shooting occurred, detectives have issued a warrant for Demontoriyuana Charles, 18. The warrant, signed by Judge Ronald Ware, charges Charles with second-degree murder; aggravated criminal damage to property; and illegal use of a weapon. His bond is set at $680,000.

The incident at Huber Park “is tragic on so many levels,” Mayor Nic Hunter said in a statement to the American Press.

“Markell Jackson should still be celebrating his recent high school graduation with his family and friends. Now his family, classmates and this community are left mourning over senseless violence,” Hunter said. “There are so many alternatives to resolving an argument other than the use of a gun. I implore parents to sit their children down and have a serious conversation about how a pull of the trigger may take literally a second but it can negatively impact lives forever. I offer my prayers to the families and friends of all involved in this senseless tragedy.”

Hunter said Huber Park is managed by Ward 3 Recreation under a Joint Services Agreement with the city of Lake Charles. He said the city has been advised that security is routinely present, but was not Wednesday night during a Mid City Baseball League game.

“Early reports indicate that no one from the baseball games were involved in the fight; however, anytime large groups are gathered at a public space, I do believe a law enforcement presence is extremely beneficial,” Hunter said. “Young athletes deserve the opportunity to complete their ball season without fear. Law enforcement will be present at Huber Park for the final, remaining games.”

Vincent said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are likely.

Anyone with any information on Charles’ whereabouts is asked to call CPSO at 491-3605. Anyone who is found to be assisting or harboring him will be charged accordingly, she said.