BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tennessee truck driver 49-year-old Keith Odom was repairing a tire on his 18-wheeler while waiting to make a delivery, in the parking lot of a strip mall on Florida Blvd when he was robbed, shot and left for dead.
The sudden death of Odom still feels unreal to his ex-wife, Donna Brown Mays. "He just has an aura about him, of sweetness." "It can't be. I mean Keith is my go-to person. To this day," said Mays.
Just a few days ago, Odom was doing the job he loved, driving trucks cross country. A coworker, Joshua Johnson, called him a company favorite. "Really friendly guy and very nice. We just enjoyed working with him." "He was family. He was a great guy and a very good driver and when I heard that, it kind of tore me up."
Thursday morning, Odom's truck was finally unloaded of home building supplies at Surplus Warehouse and driven off by an employee.
Now Odom's family is pleading for his killer to face justice. "I don't want to see this guy get 15 years and get out in three and do it to somebody else's loved one," said Mays.
The alleged gunman 18-year-old Landry Carter was arrested last night and charged with first-degree murder. East Baton Rouge District Attorney, Hillar Moore didn't say if he would seek the death penalty, but he did have an initial reaction.
"Guns in the hands of young people, juveniles at this age are troubling. You want to know where they get the weapon from," said DA Moore.
But this isn't the only crime Carter is allegedly connected to. In the last two months, Carter allegedly robbed a Dollar General on Little John Drive, twice and a Family Dollar on Florida Blvd once. DA Moore calls this a tragic situation, urging the community to implement the adage "it takes a village."
"Parents have to be parents and not friends. They have to be tough on their kids. The community, their neighbors, other family members have to assist in raising these kids and making sure they instill in them the right values and respect. Often times when that doesn't happen we see bad things occur."
As authorities still try to piece together the motive and facts, family members attempt to deal with the grief of a loved one lost. "He would give you the shirt off his back. I still can't believe it."
We're told the maximum sentence Carter could face for the first-degree murder charge is life imprisonment or the death penalty.