A murder suspect found living in Waveland is accused in the execution-style killing of a young father in Many, La.
Darrell Anthony Williams Jr. was wanted on a warrant on a second-degree murder charge in the June 18 killing of Lynnquithis Lee January. The Lake Charles, La., resident was 23.
Williams also was wanted for questioning in four other homicides because of the suspected murder weapon, Hancock County Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan said.
“The gun he used may have been directly or indirectly related to four other killings,” Grannan said.
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That’s why the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department used its SWAT team to take Williams into custody after learning he was living at a Waveland apartment complex.
It also explains why officials say the investigation of Williams involves other agencies — the New Orleans Police Department, the Jefferson Parish and Bossier Parish sheriff’s departments, Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.
The Hancock County SWAT team arrested Williams, 23, in a traffic stop on Oct. 16. He was extradited to Sabine Parish, La., on Oct. 23. Many is the county seat of Sabine Parish.
In June, January was visiting friends at Apollo Apartments in Many and was sitting in the breezeway of a building when an armed man came from behind him about 10:30 p.m. He was shot multiple times in the face and body, according to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department.
January was married and had two sons and a daughter, according to his obituary published by sabineparishtoday.com.
Several people who were in the area saw the shooter, the sheriff’s department said. The region’s Crime Stoppers offered a $5,000 reward. It’s unclear if anyone qualified for the reward.
Sabine Parish investigators identified Williams and notified the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department that Williams could be living with his wife in Waveland. January had been known “to go back and forth” from Sabine Parish to Waveland, Grannan said.
Investigators later learned Williams had been with his wife Casi when a Hancock County deputy pulled her over in July for not having a license plate on her car, Grannan said.
There was no reason to suspect Williams was wanted at the time because a warrant hadn’t been issued for his arrest. Warrants show up in the NCIC crime database, accessible to all law enforcement agencies.
Once Hancock County determined Williams was staying at a Waveland apartment, investigators “put him under surveillance,” Grannan said.
Williams was living at an apartment community known as Oak Park and Gulf Grove Apartments on Waveland Avenue. The complex has nearly 230 units.
“Knowing he was wanted in one murder and possibly four others, we didn’t want to take any chance of putting people around him at risk,” Grannan said.
“I’ve seen the evidence. He shot that guy (January) 11 times.”
With a SWAT team on standby, undercover officers waited for Williams to leave the apartment and drive off. They followed him and SWAT met up with them.
“We took him in off the highway,” Grannan said.
Deputies found a .40-caliber handgun in the vehicle, he said, but as it turns out, the handgun wasn’t the murder weapon.
“We checked ballistics and bullet casings. But the gun he had wasn’t associated with any of the murders over in Lousiana. The murder weapon is believed to be directly or indirectly linked to a four other murders. That doesn’t mean he was in possession of the weapon at those times. There’s a lot to be figured out.”
Deputies searched the Williams’ apartment and found $11,000, digital scales and 3.5 pounds of marijuana, he said. They arrested Williams’ wife on a drug distribution charge.
Information on the other homicides was not immediately available.
The other homicides did not occur in Sabine Parish, sheriff’s spokesman Joe Dewil said.