BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Details are still emerging about a shooting that claimed the lives of two Southern University students.
Marquis Watkins, an eyewitness to the shooting, said a gathering to celebrate his birthday had nothing to do with the tragedy. He said his party was over at the time of the shooting and that the man police have arrested in connection to the incident did not initiate the violence.
It's been a week since a shooting claimed the lives of Southern students Lashuntae Benton and Annette January, but for fellow Jaguar Marquis Watkins the nightmare of what happened is far from over.
"I've seen dead people before, but I've never seen two girls, especially two girls I know dead, like shot. That's a whole other thing. I haven't even slept good since that happened at all," he said.
Watkins said his birthday party was over around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, when a group of students who were not invited to the gathering showed up bragging about how they had jumped someone over what he believes was a gambling debt that stemmed from a race.
"Not even five minutes later, at least three minutes later, a car pulled up and said 'when we come back around y'all better duck.' Next thing you know they came back around and they started shooting," Watkins added.
Watkins described a chaotic scene with shots flying everywhere and party-goers scrambling for their lives.
"You see gunshots coming out the sunroof and out the side of the window towards where everyone was at. They drove off and another shots came. Another two or three shots came after that and it was over," Watkins said.
Baton Rouge Police believe 22-year-old Ernest Felton returned fire. Felton is behind bars, charged with attempted second degree murder for injuring a third victim in the mayhem. It remains unclear which shots fatally hit the young women.
Watkins admitted he is not sure who shot back at the attackers, but he credits whoever it was with saving lives.
"I feel like if he wasn't out there or whoever that was shooting back wasn't out there, it would have been more people dead that night besides just two people," he added.
While it will not bring back his friends, Watkins hopes the investigation turns up more answers soon.
"Put the right person in jail behind this. Don't just close the case because you got one person and you feel like he's going to fit the crime scene," he said. "Do your job and get the right person. Do what you got to do to get the right person. That's all we want."
A spokesperson with BRPD said the ballistic report that should identify whose shots killed the two students could come as early as this week.