Baton Rouge, LA – The two-year-old son of a New Roads police officer was gunned down inside his mother’s home by a wanted career criminal who was out on parole after having tried to kill 11 people.
Baton Rouge Police Sergeant L’Jean McKneely Jr. said the murderous crime spree began at about 8 p.m. on Oct. 15 when 41-year-old Kendrick Myles kidnapped his nine-year-old nephew from a home on Bluebonnet Boulevard in East Baton Rouge, The Advocate reported.
Sgt. McKneely said Myles dragged the child along as he embarked on a rampage that began with kicking in the door at a home on Osceola Street and fighting with the people inside.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said Myles shot someone in that house in the hand, The Advocated reported.
Chief Paul said the victim identified Myles as the shooter and said he was a family member.
Police said the gunman left the Osceola house at about 8:20 p.m. and went to yet another home where he reportedly had issues with the people inside, The Advocate reported.
Myles arrived at a home in the 6000-block of West Upland Avenue in Zion City at about 9:30 p.m.
Police said he opened fire and sprayed bullets indiscriminately into the building, The Advocate reported.
Two-year-old Azariah “Christien” Thomas was inside the home when Myles opened fire and was fatally shot, WBRZ reported.
The toddler was the son of New Roads Police Officer Vince Hutchinson, who had just dropped Christien off at his mother’s residence a couple hours before he was killed.
“My son was in the house,” Officer Hutchinson told WBRZ. “He was in the house when he was shot. It was not a drive-by shooting. Myles got out and opened fire.”
The officer said he didn’t know Myles before the man killed his son.
Sgt. McKneely said Myles left that shooting scene and proceeded to a home in the 1400-block of Snipe Street in Scotlandville, The Advocate reported.
Police responded to 911 calls about shots fired at about 9:50 p.m. after Myles opened fire on a relative who had arrived to try and rescue the kidnapped nephew.
Myles barricaded himself in the house with the nine year old and engaged in a standoff with police that lasted until 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 16, according to The Advocate.
No shots were fired during the standoff, according to police.
Myles was apprehended after he tried to make a run for it from the house, The Advocate reported.
His nephew was rescued by the police uninjured.
The East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office said Myles is a career criminal who was out on parole and had outstanding warrants when he kidnapped his nephew and went on his shooting spree.
He has been arrested 29 times and convicted 11 times, including some charges for violent crimes, The Advocate reported.
Myles was wanted for setting a house on fire in July, nearby the home on Osceola where he opened fire in October.
He was arrested on drug and weapons charges in 2017 after he went to a church founded by his recently-deceased mother “in a rage of terror” and threatened to shoot his brother-in-law and others, The Advocate reported.
Online court records showed Myles was convicted of attempted murder in 2005 after he tried to kill 11 people over a fight with a girlfriend.
He was arrested after the police standoff on Oct. 16 and charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, illegal use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, and home invasion, according to The Advocate.
Myles was also charged with kidnapping, according to WVUE.
He is being held without bond.
Officer Hutchinson was devastated by his son’s murder and called the toddler a fun-loving and precocious child, WBRZ reported.
“Just very smart, he was an angel in our midst,” the grieving father said. “We didn’t even know. He was always happy and never forgot a face.”
Officer Hutchinson said his mother called him after Christien was shot and told him to get to the hospital, but didn’t tell him why, WBRZ reported.
“This is just evil,” the officer said. “Nothing else to say, plain evil.”