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Victims identified in fatal shooting; suspect in police custody

Posted at 1:05 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 18:47:51-04


LAFAYETTE, La. – Police have released the identities of the victims killed in a Sunday night shooting.

On June 27, 2021, at 10:48 pm, Lafayette Police responded to shots fired in the parking lot of a business in the 1800 block of N. University Avenue, according to Sr. Cpl. Bridgette Dugas, spokesperson for the Lafayette Police Department.

When they got there, officers found Brandon Arnold, 19, of Lafayette, dead of gunshot wounds in the parking lot. Arnold worked at the business where he was found; police believe he was shot during a botched robbery. Arnold was the target of that robbery, not the business, police say.

Police also found another man, Xavier Batiste, 19, also of Lafayette, inside a vehicle. He also was shot; he was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later, police say.

Dejuan Clay, 23, also of Lafayette, was arrested. He was driving the vehicle that Batiste was riding in, police say.

Clay turned himself in to authorities at the Lafayette Police Department on June 28. He was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center with one count of first-degree murder, obstruction of justice, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, prohibited acts (possession of counterfeit drugs), and felon in possession of a gun.

Records show that Clay has served time before. Since 2016, he has pleaded guilty to illegal use of a weapon, aggravated battery with a firearm, illegal carrying of a weapon, and twice to resisting arrest. He initially was given probation but that was revoked after a subsequent arrest. All told, his records appear to indicate that he served more than two years in jail.

In March 2019, after his probation had been revoked and he had been sent back to jail, he filed a motion on his own behalf, asking the judge to reconsider; he wrote that he had two children and that a third had just been born the month before. He also was a student at SLCC but had to drop out when he was arrested and held in jail, he wrote.

"Mover accepts full responsibility for his actions and is only requesting a chance to be a productive member of society," Clay wrote. "Mover realizes that he must live for his children and family, and he will not continue down the path of disobedience as he previously did."

The judge denied his motion and sent him to jail.

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