A 25-year-old former Terrebonne High School basketball standout was shot and killed at a party in Gonzales early this morning, authorities said.
According to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jerrod Brown was transported to a hospital shortly after 1 a.m. after suffering multiple gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead.
Brown had attended a house party on Superior Wood Avenue, where most of the attendees had arrived by a party bus from Lafourche, Terrebonne and Assumption parishes, the Sheriff’s Office said.
After Brown had gotten into an argument with a female at the party, the woman’s brother, identified as 19-year-old Joshua Harris of Thibodaux, pulled out two guns and fatally shot Brown, deputies said.
Harris then fled the scene but was arrested about 8 a.m. today at his home in Thibodaux by the Thibodaux Police Department, authorities said.
Harris was to be transported to the Ascension Parish Jail, where he will be charged with second-degree murder, illegal discharge of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, deputies said. More charges may be pending, and the case is still under investigation.
Harris has a long criminal history with charges such as attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated second-degree battery, simple robbery and an obscenity, authorities said.
The suspect is on probation until July 2021, deputies said.
Brown was a local high school basketball standout from Houma and graduated from Terrebonne High School in 2010.
Following graduation, Brown played as a freshman at Frank Phillips Community College in Borger, Texas, in 2011 and transferred to North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D., for his sophomore season in 2012.
Brown finished his college career at Voorhees College of South Carolina earlier last year, where he graduated in May with a degree in sports management.
In his last college season, Brown averaged 14.6 points per game to with 7.2 rebounds an outing. He signed a contract to play for the Chicago Steam of the American Basketball Association after college last year.
After news of the shooting spread on social media this morning, local coaches who knew Brown expressed shock over the aspiring professional basketball player’s death.
Ellender head boys basketball coach Cornell Scott coached Brown in Amateur Athletic Union ball and often worked out in the gym with him.
“I’ve known him for a long time,” Scott said. “It was hard to hear what happened to him. He loved basketball. He was always in the gym working on his skills. He was a good kid and was well-liked. He was never out looking for trouble. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
When Brown’s former teammate Trevon Lewis of Houma first learned of his friend’s death early this morning, he said he didn’t believe it.
“I thought it was a bad dream, but then as the phone calls started coming in, the reality set in,” Lewis said. “It’s going to be a tough loss for a lot of people. Jerrodd was a very passionate person. Every time he spoke he had this sense of passion in his voice. He didn’t only touch the people of Houma. He touched a lot of people everywhere he went. He had a good personality and was very talented. He was always there for everyone. He also was a great father. At the end of the day God has the last word. Jerrodd’s in a better place now, but I just hate to see his son live without a father.”
Not only did Brown play basketball, he played football as well. Terrebonne High School football coach Gary Hill was one of Brown’s mentors.
“Jerrod was of those kids who really wanted to achieve his goals and always tried to make things right as a person,” Hill said. “As both a person and a player he improved himself on a daily basis. During his college days he had struggles where he had trouble fitting in or staying in school, but he always found a way to land back on his feet. He ended up finishing school and played ball. That was just a testament to the kid himself. He always found a way to succeed. That was one of things I’ve always admired about him.”
The fact that Brown was so close to making his dreams come true makes his death even more tragic, Hill said.
“The kid just worked so hard to find an opportunity to succeed, and he was finally going to have that opportunity to reach what he really wanted to reach,” Hill said. “I feel so sorry for his family. The hardest thing as a coach to fathom in this is that you saw the kid struggle but always fight to find a way to be successful. He was getting to where he was going to be his own man and achieve the success he always longed for, and now that’s not going to be possible. It’s heartbreaking.”
In a 2016 interview with the Daily Comet and Courier, Brown said he had dreams of playing overseas basketball.
“All I ever wanted to do is play basketball,” Brown said. “I’m just blessed to get the opportunity. This is my dream. I just want to represent for my town and show them how we play in Louisiana. I know everybody is supporting me. That makes me want to go a little harder. I’m just trying to go get it. I can’t wait to get out there and show what I got.”
Brown leaves behind a young son, Kason.
--Staff writer Chris Singleton contributed to this story.
--Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 857-2202 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.