Slidell, La. - The murder of 23-year-old Leighton Powe left his friends and family in shock. The Slidell native was a dock master for a tow boat company.
"I mean, for something like this to happen to him is unreal," said Powe's friend, John Roberts.
Five people are now in custody in connection with the death.
"This was a pre-arranged, premeditated robbery involving several individuals who planned to rob the victim of marijuana," said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith.
Police said 17-year-old Ki' Shion Griffin orchestrated a plan to rob Powe last Saturday. They said Felix Adams Jr., Bobby Isadore and Trenton Johnson met Powe behind the Slidell Dollar General Store.
They said Powe got into a pickup truck with the trio and something went wrong. That's when Adams allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Powe in the head.
"The suspects then proceeded to the area of Javery Road where they dumped Powe in a ditch," Smith said. "They then attempted to burn the truck a few blocks away on Camelot Drive just outside the city limits."
Darion Causey, 20, was also arrested. He is accused of helping the suspects to destroy evidence.
"When you consider the fact that they're all kids, it's like - how much more senseless can you get than that?" said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain.
Investigators said there is no known connection between the suspects and the victim.
Powe's friends said he had made some mistakes in the past but had turned his life around.
"He made a big change. He came a long way," said Powe's friend, Jason Shubert.
Slidell Police believe they've arrested the core group of people responsible for Powe's murder, but they said several others may have known about the crime or helped to hide evidence.