Sheriff: Tangipahoa nightclub shooting was accidental

Hammond - Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards says the shooting of an unarmed teen by one of his deputies was accidental.

The sheriff spoke about the shooting Friday morning for the first time since it happened nearly a week ago.

Edwards says his department received a call around midnight Saturday morning August 11th about shots being fired near the Spur Station in the Village of Tangipahoa.

About two hours later, the sheriff says his department received a call from Club 81.

The club was closing for the night and a large crowd had gathered outside, sparking several fights.

Sheriff Edwards says three of his deputies were dispatched to the club.

He says they were breaking up the fights when someone pointed out Marquis Martin as a possible suspect in the earlier shooting at the Spur Station.

Edwards says Deputy William Phebus, 36, approached Martin to question him when Martin took off.

Edwards says Phebus chased him, quickly apprehending him.  The sheriff says as Phebus was trying to handcuff Martin, 18-year old DeeJay Galmon suddenly ran up.

"At this time, my deputy, while still trying to subdue the subject who he had been told had a gun on his person, decides to take his weapon and draw his weapon to be able to defend himself," says Edwards.

"At the time that he draws his weapon with his right hand, he's right-handed, he still has his left hand on the subject on the ground and there's one round that gets fired  accidentally and it strikes 18-year old DeeJay Galmon."

Galmon was pronounced dead at the scene.

Edwards says Louisiana State Police are handling the investigation. The sheriff said he would like their final report to be turned over to a grand jury so they can decide if charges should be filed against the deputy.

Deputy Phebus is currently on administrative leave with pay. He's been with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office for three years.