Long Beach resident David Nicholas Ryals, 19, is facing a murder charge after authorities said he shot another man in the head Sunday night on Sap Root Road.
Harrison County Prosecutor Herman Cox on Monday asked that an initial charge of aggravated assault against Ryals be upgraded to murder after Blake Anthony Carroll, 21, passed away from the gunshot wound at the University of South Alabama Medical Center.
Carroll’s girlfriend told investigators, who responded to the scene in the 9000 block of Sap Root Road in Pass Christian, that she was fighting outside the house with another woman when the shooting started.
Deputies found Carroll in the front yard and a 12-gauge shotgun nearby. He was first taken to Garden Park Hospital, then flown by helicopter to Alabama, where he passed away.
His girlfriend, Alexis Sanders, told investigators that she was unsure who shot Carroll, according to a sworn statement from sheriff’s Investigator Neal Allen.
Ryals and another man were involved in the altercation, Allen’s statement says. Sanders described the suspects’ car, leading Long Beach police officers to Ryals’ home. At the house, Allen’s statement says, officers found three people and a 9 mm handgun.
“Ryals admitted having shot at Carroll, but stated he did not know he had struck him,” Allen’s statement said.
Ryals is being held in the Harrison County jail on a $1 million bond set by Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray. At an initial appearance, Ryals requested a court-appointed attorney, saying he could not afford one.
The other man allegedly involved in the fight, Brandon Lee Dandrea, 19, was booked into the Harrison County jail on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.