Members of the NOPD’s Violent Offenders Warrants Squad (VOWS) today arrested a suspected gunman in the murder of a New Orleans East grandmother and the wounding of her 4-year-old grandson, only five days after the shooting occurred.
The shooting happened last Sunday in the 13,100 block of Maplewood Drive.
The VOWS Unit picked up 23-year-old Thomas Lam this afternoon for gunning down 44-year-old Helene Jackson and shooting her 4-year-old grandson.
The boy was shot to the face and remains hospitalized. Jackson was shot multiple times and died on the scene.
Detectives believe the motives were robbery and drug-related.
Through the course of the investigation, lead Homicide Detective Ryan Vaught received information and leads from witnesses in the neighborhood and developed Lam as a suspect. Subsequently, he obtained a warrant for Lam’s arrest.
Today at approximately 3:00pm, the NOPD VOWS Unit received information that Lam was at work in the 5000 block of Bragg Street where he was apprehended without incident. Lam was relocated to the Homicide office where he refused to cooperate with detectives.
Detectives conducted a search of Lam’s house and located a handgun.
Thomas Lam was previously arrested for carrying an Illegal Firearm During a Crime.
“This was another case where a suspect recklessly fired a weapon -wounding anyone who happened to be in his path, including a 4-year-old boy. Criminals like this don’t deserve to walk freely among us in our neighborhoods", said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
"I commend Detective Ryan Vaught for his constant pursuit for answers in this case. And we're grateful for all of the help provided by members of the community. The information they shared assisted investigators in identifying this gunman which led to his swift arrest.”
Citizens with information that can help solve crimes are asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP(7867) or Text your crime tip to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637), Text TELLCS then your crime information. You could receive a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person(s) responsible. You do not have to give your name nor testify to receive the reward. Citizens can also submit an anonymous tip online to CRIMESTOPPERS at www.crimestoppersgno.org.
The New Orleans Police Department, under the leadership of Superintendent Ronal W. Serpas, is engaged in a complete transformation in its approach to ensuring that New Orleans is a safer place to live, work and visit. The police force, which currently employs dedicated men and women, is committed to transparency, accountability, collaboration and integrity. To learn more about the NOPD and our services, visit http://www.nola.gov/GOVERNMENT/NOPD/
Any person who, after the commission of a felony, shall harbor, conceal, or aid the offender, knowing or having reasonable ground to believe that he has committed the felony, and with the intent that he may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment shall be charged with R.S. 14:25; Relative to Accessories After the Fact.
An accessory after the fact may be tried and punished, notwithstanding the fact that the principal felon may not have been arrested, tried, convicted, or amenable to justice.
Whoever becomes an accessory after the fact shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both; provided that in no case shall his punishment be greater than one-half of the maximum provided by law for a principal offender.
Officer Garry Flot