KENNER, LA (WVUE) - A Prairieville man was arrested Monday in connection with a home invasion and business armed robbery that occurred 10 minutes apart in Kenner.
Kenneth Knight III, 30, of Prairieville, was arrested by the Kenner Police Department and booked with armed robbery, aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal carrying of weapons during a crime of violence, illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated burglary, illegal discharge of a firearm, aggravated criminal damage to property, and simple criminal damage to property.
On Sunday, April 2 around 4:20 a.m., a resident on Driftwood Boulevard called the police to report that someone shot through the rear door of their home and went inside.
"[The homeowner] hears a gunshot at her back door, the glass breaks, the individual enters the door with the shotgun, they confront the individual, he orders them back to the room, and the individual didn't take anything from the house he just fled the residence," said Lt. Brian McGregor with Kenner Police.
A spent 20-gauge shotgun shell was found at the scene.
Approximately 10 minutes later, Kenner Police responded to an armed robbery at the Discount Zone, located in the 2800 block of Loyola Drive.
Police said, Knight, using a shotgun, smashed the front door and entered the business.
"They had the cashier inside the business, the door was locked, and all of sudden there goes the glass and here comes an individual with a shotgun," McGregor said.
Once inside, police say Knight demanded money from the cashier.
After developing a lead on the suspect's vehicle Kenner Police tracked Knight down to Ascension Parish where they said they found clothing and items connecting Knight to both crimes.
During an interview, Knight did not deny committing the crimes but attributed his actions to heroin addiction.
"What he says is that he's addicted to heroin and he was so messed up at the time on heroin with the amount of heroin he ingested that he said 'I may have done it, I may not I don't remember,'" McGregor said.
McGregor said it's not uncommon to see addicts crossing all boundaries to fuel a drug habit.
"They have like $100 a day habit, $180 a day habit, and so forth. Most people don't make that per day so they've got to fuel their drugs somehow, they're high, and they'll do just about anything to get it," McGregor said.
Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said his office has seen a spike in opioid and heroin-related deaths and said often it starts as a pill addiction before it spirals out of control.
"So these people get addicted to opiates pills like Vicodin or Lortab, wind up having to go on the streets to buy where it's expensive and at some point, heroin becomes a cheaper alternative," Cvitanovich said. "Drug addiction in general and heroin addiction in particular causes people to do things that they would otherwise consider unthinkable like stealing from your own family."
Knight has a prior felony conviction for simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling in Baton Rouge which prevents him from possessing a firearm.
Knight remains in custody. No bond has been set.