LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Three freshmen defensive backs on the McNeese State football team are among five 18- and 19-year-old men accused of various crimes, including one linked to a drive-by shooting near a campus apartment complex, authorities said Wednesday.
The shooting that injured one man on Sept. 6 was retaliation for an armed robbery on Aug. 30, Lake Charles police said in a news release.
Lathan A. Adams, 18, of Waxahatchie, Texas, and Edward E. Gilds, 18, of Harvey, are accused of the August holdup, Deputy Chief Franklin Fondel said Tuesday.
He said Travis L. Walker, 18, of Kenner, and Davonte Simmons, 19, a relative from Westwego who was visiting him, are accused of possessing drugs and guns found in Walker's apartment, which was among several searched Tuesday in the campus complex.
Fondel said the weapons are being tested and he could not say whether they were connected to the holdup or shooting.
Malique Ezekiel Boutte, 18, of Lake Charles, was arrested last week in the Sept. 6 shooting.
Adams, Walker and Gilds were on the football team, McNeese athletics spokesman Matthew Bonnette said. The school's online roster listed all three Wednesday as freshman defensive backs. Adams had originally signed with Colorado State after playing at DeSoto High School in Texas; Walker went to Landry-Walker High and Gilds to St. Augustine High.
“I was extremely disappointed to learn that three of our football players were arrested and charged with criminal offenses. All three players have been suspended indefinitely by the Athletic Department,” athletics director Heath Schroyer said in a written statement.
Adams and Gilds were arrested on charges of armed robbery with a firearm and illegal use of a weapon; a count of aggravated battery also was brought against Adams, according to a police news release. Adams' bond was set at $80,000 and Gilds' at $60,000.
Simmons and Walker were held on bonds of $119,500 after their arrests on seven charges each, including possession of stolen firearms, possessing firearms in the presence of illegal drugs, possessing them in a firearm-free zone and possessing more than 473 grams (16.7 ounces) of marijuana with intent to distribute it.
Boutte, held on $330,000 bond, faces four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and one each of aggravated second-degree battery and illegal use of a weapon, police said earlier
It was not clear whether any of them has an attorney who could speak for him.
Harvey, Kenner and Westwego all are New Orleans suburbs.