A Louisiana police detective said race motivated two black suspects to kill a white handyman last month.
A detective with the Kenner Police Department testified in court last week that one of the two suspects arrested in connection with Lawrence Herr’s killing on April 10 admitted under questioning that race was a factor.
Police arrested two black men – Tahj Matthews, 23, and Maurice Holmes, 25 – on April 11 and charged the pair with murdering Herr, 66, while he was installing a mailbox the day prior. At the time of the arrest, Kenner Police Chief Keith Conley said police suspected that the murder was more than a random shooting.
“One of the suspects did say they were on a random shooting binge and wanted to commit a murder, we think there may be ulterior motives and that’s what the detectives are investigating,” Conley said.
The lead detective on the case said in court that Matthews told police that the suspects targeted Herr because they “wanted to kill a white person,” according to 4WWL.
Herr died at a local hospital after he was found in a driveway after being shot in the back. Police said the suspects can be seen in video footage driving past Herr three times before opening fire on the handyman.
Police at the time said they had secured a confession from one of the two suspects arrested, and that the man had implicated the other in the confession. Police said that the two suspects had met only two weeks prior to the slaying.
Herr was known as “Peanut” to many of his friends and family. A longtime friend, Jean Foster, described him as “a great person, a beautiful person.”
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“Who did that to him and why would they do that to him? He was a great person, a beautiful person. He was an angel to us,” she said.
“They took away my family, my friend, my angel, my everything. They took him away from us and for that, they deserve to suffer the consequences. They did the crime, they need to do the time,” she continued.