Artist Derrick Thornton shot and killed by 16-year-old


It’s been said many times that a picture is worth a thousand words, and perhaps no one understood that concept better than 43-year-old Derrick Thornton. He had some high visibility projects in the neighborhood, including a mural he collaborated with Shannon Denise Dejean on, located at 1704 Broad Street. 

Who knows how many more masterful illustrations Thornton would have had in him? His life came to a tragic end on February 18, and we may be one step closer to finding out what happened to him during the early morning hours of that day.

On March 1, a 16-year-old was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder. The identity of the teenager has not yet been revealed to the community. The individual was apprehended in the 500 block of South Goos Street, near the Mill Street intersection.

Currently, the teenager is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center. 

Thornton’s life came to an end in the 1500 block of O’Brien Street, as authorities and medical personnel found his remains when they arrived on the scene. 

The investigation remains ongoing, and it’s not clear at this point if the suspect had any prior relationship with Thornton, or what a potential motive might have been. 

The Johnson Firm is saddened to hear about the death of a person who brought color and expression to the neighborhood. If you know anyone who is the victim of a violent crime, please call us at (337) 433-1414 to further look into the case.

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