On the night of August 6, Joseph Harris Jr. had completed his meal at a Waffle House in Terrytown. As he stepped out of the restaurant, he fell victim to an unexpected and sudden attack.
According to Detective Blaine Howard of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, two individuals wearing masks shot Harris 26 times, resulting in his death in the parking lot. Harris, who hailed from Algiers, was 30 years old.
During a preliminary hearing in Jefferson Parish Magistrate Court, Howard provided testimony on Tuesday regarding the investigation into Harris’ death.
According to the arrest records, 18-year-old Gregory Rose from Terrytown and 23-year-old Joshua Gatlin from Algiers have been charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Additionally, Gatlin has also been charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
During his testimony, Howard did not provide any information regarding a potential motive for the murder. He simply stated that Gatlin and Harris were following each other on Instagram.
According to Howard, Rose and Gatlin quickly identified Harris’ car while driving from Algiers to Jefferson Parish on the night of the shooting. A tipster informed detectives that the two men were following Harris in a stolen white Hyundai Kona and observed him parking at a Waffle House located at 559 Behrman Highway in Terrytown.
According to Howard’s testimony, as Harris entered the food ordering area, Rose and Gatlin wasted no time and headed straight to Rose’s apartment, which was less than a mile away. There, they swiftly disguised themselves with hooded sweatshirts and masks.
According to Howard, Harris left the Waffle House about 20 minutes after entering and was fatally shot, which was captured on surveillance cameras.
According to the informant, Rose and Gatlin boasted about their involvement in the murder of Harris to the authorities. Following the killing, the two suspects reportedly drove the stolen SUV to the intersection of Vincent Road and Curran Boulevard in New Orleans East and set fire to the vehicle, as per Howard’s statement.
The investigators diligently verified the information provided by the tipster. In New Orleans, they discovered the charred vehicle. According to Howard, the cellphone data showed that Rose and Gatlin were in close proximity to the Waffle House during the time of the murder, and they were also present at Rose’s apartment complex earlier. Howard testified that shortly after the homicide, the cellphones of the suspects were detected in the vicinity where the burnt automobile was found.
According to Howard, the photos found in Rose’s phone revealed that he was wearing a yellow sweatshirt that was quite unique and similar to the clothing worn by one of the gunmen. Additionally, there was a picture of a burn on his face, which is believed to be an injury that he sustained while setting the vehicle on fire.
According to Howard, a photo of Harris after his death was discovered on Rose’s phone by detectives. It is uncertain if Rose was the one who took the picture, but it seems that the photo had been shared on social media.
Commissioner Patricia Joyce has decided that there is enough evidence to keep both men in custody on the charges they are facing. On Tuesday, the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna detained Rose and Gatlin. Rose’s bail was set at $ 550,000. According to court records, Gatlin has been convicted of two counts of aggravated battery, aggravated assault of a police officer, and simple battery. His bail has been set at $710,000.
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