BAY SAINT LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - Four victims who were shot Wednesday night outside a Bay St. Louis apartment complex were “ambushed," according to Bay police chief Gary Ponthieux.
Authorities gathered Thursday to update the public on the shooting, which left 19-year-old Cheyanne Schultz-Cardinale and 23-year-old Morgan Landry dead.
Two other people were shot. One remained in critical condition as of Thursday afternoon and the second was treated and released.
Chief Ponthieux said 23-year-old Jason Michel ambushed the four victims, who were sitting outside Bay Park Apartments.
“From what eye witnesses are telling, they were ambushed,” Ponthieux said. “They pulled up on it and were confronted quickly, and they were ambushed.”
Michel then stole one of the victim’s cars and drove to a Waveland gas station where he stole a truck at gunpoint.
Shortly after the truck was stolen, police received a phone call from Michel’s mother, said Ponthieux. She told them her son was covered in blood and holding a shotgun when he showed up at her house on West Itawamba Street in the Bayside Park community. Hancock County deputies arrived shortly after and arrested Michel without incident.
Ponthieux said investigators had not yet been able to determine a motive for the crimes, calling it a “random, senseless act of violence.” The police chief said no evidence of any drug activity or drug deal was found. Investigators are still gathering evidence and have seized electronic devices to hopefully learn more.
Michel is now charged with murder, attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, carjacking, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He also has pending charges through the Waveland Police Department for carjacking.
Michel was taken to Hancock County Jail where a $3.6 million bond was set by Municipal Court Judge Maggio.
According to the police chief, Michel was on parole at the time of the shootings for a previous felony conviction on a burglary charge. Police also suspect he may have an additional felony conviction for a burglary out of state but have not yet been able to obtain those records.
Ponthieux said they believe the shotgun used in the crimes belongs to one of Michel’s family members who lives in Bay Park Apartments. Michel was reportedly staying between there and the homes of other friends and family in Hancock County.
However, the police chief said they have not found any evidence that anyone else was involved in the crime and believe that Michel acted alone. No other arrests are anticipated at this time.
Bay St. Louis Police are still investigating these crimes and are asking anyone who may have additional information to contact them at 228-467-9222 or by submitting tips to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers online or by phone at 877-787-5898.