A Leesville native was convicted for his role in the now infamous 2017 Labor Day weekend shooting.

Jaron “L.J.” Williams was found guilty by a jury of his peers. He was convicted Friday on one count of attempted 1st degree murder, and one count of conspiracy to commit attempted 1st degree murder.

Williams was one of the five arrested in 2017 in connection to the shooting that occurred at a basketball court in DeRidder over Labor Day weekend that year.

Tarik “Snoop” Njoku, Samuel Miller, Jushaun “JuJu” Flammings and Larry Williams, III were also arrested in 2017 for connections to the crime.

The incident started when a young man from DeRidder and Jaron Williams  Leesville planned to fight one another at the basketball court located in the Twin Lakes area of DeRidder.

It was stated in court that the fight was started because Jaron Williams had allegedly broken into and robbed the home of the young man from DeRidder.

Both parties brought friends with them to watch the fight and act as “back up” if necessary. According to testimony from several witnesses, shortly after the fight began multiple gunshots rang out causing the crowd to disperse in a panicked frenzy.

One witness that drove some of the Leesville group to the fight, claimed that his life had been threatened by Jaron Williams if he communicated any information to the police about the shooting.

The witness even claimed that he was approached by an unidentified subject that followed him to a gas station, and further threatened his life if he were to speak to the police.

That same witness only spoke to police after the arrests were made. He would also state that after leaving the scene, some of the group were bragging about the shooting, with Tarik “Snoop” Njoku proudly claiming that he thought he shot someone in the head.

The driver again emphasized he had no idea that the fight was going to turn into a shooting and would not have been a party to the violent act.

Two people from DeRidder were wounded while trying to flee the scene. One victim was shot in the shoulder while trying to help his brothers escape harm.

The other victim was a DeRidder High School student-athlete, who was left paralyzed after being shot twice.

He was initially shot in the leg and was soon after shot again in the back. His friends were able to get him to Beauregard Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.  

Another one of the victims spoke and although he was not shot, he was traumatized by the incident.

The victim testified that he had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, and has been receiving counseling ever since.

Assistant District Attorney Wayne Bush was the lead prosecutor on the case and Tomeka Gilbert handled Jaron Williams’ defense. Judge Martha O’Neal presided over the case.

In his closing statements, Bush said Williams needed to be held accountable for his actions.

“The evidence has shown that hits defendant’s choices set off a chain of events that turned our children into victims,” he said. “How do we survive as a society if no one takes responsibility for their actions.”

Williams will be sentenced at a later date. He could face up to 50 years in prison. The Beauregard Daily News and Leesville Daily Leader will have information about his sentencing when it becomes available. We will also monitor any upcoming trials and cases in connection to the shooting.