St. Landry Parish Sheriff's deputies have arrested a second Port Barre man in connection with a shooting that left one man dead and a second injured.
Jaiman Maurice Mason, 20, was booked with Principal to First Degree Murder and Principal to Attempted First Degree Murder, as well as Failure to Report the Commission of Certain Felonies and Failure to Seek Assistance.
Wade Edward Smith died in the February 15 incident, and another man was injured. Deputies already have arrested and booked Jaden Ardoin, 18, with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
According to reports, detectives obtained video surveillance footage and witness statements of Mason in the vehicle with Ardoin before and after the incident. Mason was charged with principal to the crime for not reporting the murder or injury to law enforcement. Both Mason and Ardoin remain in custody at the St. Landry Parish Jail with no bond, deputies say.
The incident happened on Hwy 105 in St. Landry Parish.
According to Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz, deputies with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office were dispatched at 7:28 PM to the 9000 block of Highway 105 in the Melville area for a person hearing gun shots.
The sheriff’s office says they then received another call at 7:35 pm stating that a vehicle was on fire in the same area.
When the deputies arrived, they located a vehicle on fire and one victim, identified as Wade Smith, unresponsive and another victim near the vehicle.
The second victim was transported to an area hospital for his injuries.
According to the investigation report, the sheriff's office says both Smith and the second victim were at a gas station where Ardoin’s girlfriend worked and they were regular customers.
The sheriff's office says reports say that the two would routinely flirt with Ardoin’s girlfriend when they would enter the gas station but were asked by her to stop because Ardoin was jealous.
Deputies say both agreed not to interact with her and proceeded to the dining area to eat.
Deputies say Ardoin and another subject entered the gas station where he became upset upon seeing Smith and the second victim and left. A very short time later Smith and the second victim left the store in their vehicle.
While driving down Highway 105, deputies say the two men passed Ardoin who was driving slowly in the lane.
Ardoin and the other subject then allegedly chased Smith and his passenger down Highway 105 when Ardoin began shooting at them from behind.
Wade then reportedly told the second victim that he was shot. Wade's passenger grabbed the wheel to steer causing the vehicle to veer off of the roadway and strike a tree. The truck then caught fire.
The second victim jumped out and noticed Wade in a slumped over position. Vaughn stated he was assisted by an unknown woman in getting out of the vehicle.
The victim was allegedly able to identify Ardoin in a line-up.
Detectives located Ardoin and the vehicle used in the incident. Key evidence was also reportedly recovered at the scene and video surveillance footage was obtained from the Texaco/Canal gas station along with additional video from gas stations in proximity of the location.
The video surveillance footage allegedly shows a brown Toyota Corolla (Ardoin) following a green Chevrolet truck (Wade and second victim) eastbound on Highway 190.
The case is still under investigation and additional arrests are expected in the case, the sheriff's office said.
Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz made the following statement on the case:
“Many concerns and assumptions were called into the media outlets, posted on social media, and called into my office about this case and other cases. I want to remind you of my promise and commitment I made to the citizens of the parish. My office does not only want to make an arrest but a conviction in the cases. What seems to be open and shut cases must be investigated to the fullest and takes time. I understand with the 24-hour news cycle and social media, everyone wants information on the case before the case is finished and the arrests are even made. I assure you that my office is totally transparent but will not ever jeopardize a conviction of a case until the information can be released. Always rely on our official news releases, not any other information being spread about cases.”
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