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4 arrested and charged in connection to shooting that killed an 80-year-old after a New Orleans high school graduation ceremony, police say

By Devon M. Sayers and Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Four people were arrested and charged in connection to last month’s shooting that claimed the life of an 80-year-old woman at a high school graduation ceremony in New Orleans, police said Wednesday.

Augustine Greenwood was killed on May 31 at Xavier University of Louisiana, which was hosting the ceremony for students at nearby Morris Jeff Community School, the city’s coroner office told CNN.

Brandon Rock, 18, and Laverne Duplessis, 40, were charged with manslaughter and possession of a firearm in a gun-free zone, the New Orleans Police Department said in a news release. Duplessis also faces an obstruction of justice charge.

Additionally, Frank Bartholomew, 49, was charged with obstruction of justice, and a 15-year-old is accused of possessing a firearm in a gun-free zone, police said.

It’s not clear whether the suspects have legal representation.

The shooting unfolded when an argument escalated to gunfire in the parking lot of the Xavier University Convocation Center after the ceremony, police said. New Orleans police officers working a security detail responded to a call for shots fired at around 11:45 a.m. local time.

When officers arrived, they found three gunshot victims — two men and one woman — who were all taken to local hospitals. The woman, later identified as Greenwood, died at a hospital, police said. Greenwood had just watched one of her grandchildren graduate before gunfire struck her, CNN affiliate WVUE reported.

“There was a fight that broke out between apparently two females,” said NOPD Chief Deputy Superintendent Christopher Goodly at the time of the shooting. “Subsequent to this fight, subjects produced weapons, and shots were shot.”

Police had obtained warrants for the suspects’ arrests on June 10, and they turned themselves into authorities separately, the department said.

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