SCHRIEVER, La. (WGNO)— As family members gathered to mourn the fatal Lafourche Parish shooting of Jairen Cole, a second arrest was made in connection to the teenager’s death.
On Wednesday (Sept. 14), the Thibodaux Police Department announced the arrest of a 12-year-old boy in connection to the shooting. The juvenile was booked into the Lafourche Parish Juvenile Justice Facility on a single count of principal to second-degree murder.
Cole’s death happened only days before when police were called to the 1700 block of South Barbier Avenue in Thibodaux. There, they found the 15-year-old shot several times in his back. He died en route to University Medical Center.
Friends and family members held a vigil at Cole’s father’s home in Schriever to celebrate his life Wednesday night. They told WGNO’s Anna McAllister that they’re devasted by Jairen’s murder and are asking local parents to step up and help stop the violence.
“I just wish I had another chance to say ‘I love you,’ and I don’t get that chance,” said Frank Cole, Jairen’s dad.
“I felt like I was dreaming,” added Trinity Cole, Jairen’s cousin. “I couldn’t believe it at first. I mean, when I first processed it, I’m like, ‘Okay, this is real,’ and I cried a lot.”
The 12-year-old is the second person to be taken into custody after a 15-year-old was arrested on Tuesday. Cole’s family says he argued with the other 15-year-old old in the past and says he was unarmed during the shooting, but was with the wrong crowd.
“That’s not his crowd, so it was really really shocking that it happened. He fell victim to the streets when the streets were not for him, the streets are not him,” said Shayla Cole, Jairen’s sister.
Cole’s family remembers him as a jokester and an outgoing young man who would do anything for his family.
“Very outgoing, energetic. very, very loving too,” said Shayla Cole.
Instead of looking forward to his 16th birthday, prom, and graduation, Cole’s family is planning his funeral. It’s a void they say they will always feel, and his family is pleading for parents to get more involved in their children’s lives before tragedy knocks on their door.
“I mean, it’s kids. they don’t know what they do,” said Frank Cole. “The parents need to take more control. The parents, the parents need to be more involved, and it can stop stuff like this.”
Jairen leaves behind his parents and many brothers and sisters who cared for him dearly. He’ll be laid to rest this Friday in Napoleonville.