First suspect arrested in killing of grandmother at Morris Jeff High graduation

Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 12:13 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The first of four suspects wanted in connection with last month’s killing of a student’s grandmother outside the Morris Jeff High School graduation ceremony is in custody, jail records show.

Brandon Rock made his first court appearance Saturday afternoon, after records show he was arrested Friday night (June 10) and booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail at 10:09 p.m.

Rock, 18, was booked on single counts of manslaughter and illegally carrying a weapon on school property. His bond was set at $750,000 by Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Robert Blackburn.

If charged and convicted of manslaughter, Rock would face up to 40 years in state prison under Louisiana law.

Rock is the first of four suspects named by New Orleans police Friday in connection with the fatal shooting of Augustine Greenwood, an 80-year-old grandmother who was struck in the head by a bullet as she walked toward her family’s car following a grandchild’s graduation ceremony May 31 at Xavier University.

Still at large are:

  • Laverne Duplessis, 40, whom the NOPD said is wanted for manslaughter, obstruction of justice and illegally carrying a weapon on school property
  • Frank Bartholomew, 49, whom the NOPD said is wanted for obstruction of justice
  • And a 15-year-old juvenile whose name has not been disclosed, whom the department said is wanted for illegally carrying a gun on school property

At a Friday news conference announcing the arrest warrants, NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson said the gunfire in the Xavier parking lot began after people accompanying two arguing female students escalated the conflict by drawing weapons and shooting.

Rock was described as one of those wounded at the scene by a gunshot, while the manslaughter allegation indicates police believe he and Duplessis are criminally responsible for Greenwood’s death.

Greenwood was laid to rest in Gentilly following a funeral service on Friday.

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