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Suspect in 2018 mass shooting outside New Orleans strip mall has been charged, police say


By Melissa Alonso and Kay Jones, CNN

A man faces multiple murder charges in a mass shooting more than three years ago outside a New Orleans strip mall that left three people dead and seven others wounded, officials said Friday.

Jamal Smith, 32, was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted second-degree murder in the assault that happened on July 28, 2018, New Orleans police said in a news release.

CNN defines a mass shooting as a shooting that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter.

Smith was apprehended with help from a Crimestoppers tip indicating he was one of two gunmen who carried out the shooting. He is the first defendant police named in the assault. He’s currently held in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, on various weapons and drug charges.

The shooting claimed the lives of Kurshaw Jackson, 38; Taiesha Watkins, 27; and Jeremiah Lee, 28, according to the Orleans Parish Coroner, who identified the victims at the time.

Authorities believe Smith was joined by another suspect during the shooting, but no information about that person was released Friday.

“The investigation remains open and very active with several promising avenues of inquiry,” police said.

The shooters had fired “indiscriminately” into a crowd in front of the strip mall, police said at the time. But at some point, they stopped over one of those killed and fired repeated rounds, police said.

One shooter was armed with an assault rifle, and the other had two handguns. They were wearing hooded sweatshirts and possibly masks, as well as latex gloves, police said.

“In addition to the intended target, two bystanders sustained fatal gunshot wounds and even additional bystanders were struck by gunfire,” New Orleans police said.

CNN has reached out to the Orleans Public Defenders’ office for comment and is working to determine whether Smith has retained an attorney.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.

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