BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A US Marshal is dead and a suspect wanted in a double murder was hospitalized Tuesday morning after a shootout in the Scotlandville area of Baton Rouge. United States Attorney Walt Green announced 31-year-old Jamie D. Croom has been charged with the murder of Deputy United States Marshal Josie Wells.
Officials with the US Marshals Office say Wells was a part of a task force serving an arrest warrant. Croom was wanted on first degree murder charges in the deaths of two people.
The shooting happened near the intersection of Elm Grove Garden Drive at Progress Road at the Elm Grove Motel around 11 a.m. Sources said Croom was taken to Our Lady of the Lake with multiple gunshot wounds. The marshal was taken to Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary by other deputies, where he later died.
Officials said the US Marshal's Fugitive Task Force was searching for Croom. He was wanted in connection to the New Roads double homicide that left a brother and sister dead on February 18. He is accused of shooting Sinica and Lechelle Williams in the parking lot of the Sugar Shack Bar on Mandela Lane in New Roads.
Croom had been arrested six times since 2000, with the last one less than a year ago.
Just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, Kevin Harrison with the US Marshals Office held a news conference about the shooting.
"Unfortunately we had a tragic incident occur today," stated Harrison. "During the execution of a warrant, an arrest warrant for an individual who is wanted for a double homicide out of Point Coupee Parish- Jamie Croom. During that apprehension one of our deputies, a United States Marshal was gravely wounded."
Harrison said the deputy was from Mississippi.
The USMS sent out the following statement:
"Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells died in the line of duty in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Deputy Marshal Wells was part of a team executing a warrant on a fugitive wanted for double homicide. The team engaged gunfire and Wells was shot. He was immediately transported to an area hospital, where he died. The fugitive was also shot and transported to a hospital. The shooting investigation is being led by the FBI and Baton Rouge Police Department. No other law enforcement personnel were injured during this incident."
This matter is being investigated by the FBI and the Baton Rouge Police Department, with the assistance of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, the Louisiana State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Offices for the Nineteenth and Eighteenth Judicial Districts.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys M. Patricia Jones, who serves as Senior Litigation Counsel, and Robert W. Piedrahita, who serves as Litigation Counsel.
Keith Bromery with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System says Progress elementary was placed on lockdown as a result of the shooting. He says the all-clear was given before Ryan Elementary and Scotlandville Middle Magnet Academy could be placed on lockdown.