When Houston Police Chief Troy Finner arrived at the scene of a daytime shooting last weekend that left an off-duty New Orleans cop dead, he hugged the slain officer’s distraught fellow members of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club. He also told his city’s mayor that he had a working theory about who committed the crime.
Finner’s detectives quickly zeroed in on robbers targeting people with pricey jewelry. On Friday, officials said that Finner’s suspicions had proved correct and announced they were charging two men with capital murder and seeking a third for questioning in the Aug. 21 shooting that killed Det. Everett Briscoe and critically wounded his Zulu compatriot Dyrin “DJ” Riculfy.
Accused gang members Anthony Jenkins, 21, and Frederick Jackson, 19, had been stalking people they wanted to rob for high-end jewelry when Briscoe and Riculfy — the latter known to wear expensive watches and chains — were shot while outside a restaurant near the Space City’s famed Galleria mall, said Lt. John McGalin, of the Houston Police Department homicide squad.
Surveillance video and tips from community members implicate Jenkins and Jackson in the deadly double shooting that apparently resulted from a random “robbery gone bad,” McGalin said.
Officer was fatally shot while on vacation in Houston
Both face charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder, Harris County, Texas, District Attorney Kim Ogg said at a news conference. Prosecutors could pursue the death penalty against Jenkins and Jackson, who had each been out on bond in connection with prior charges of assault and robbery with a deadly weapon, Ogg added.
A third person of interest to the investigation into Briscoe’s slaying may face charges as well, McGalin said. But that person wasn’t under arrest by Friday.
Houston police announced the arrests hours before a viewing honoring Briscoe at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans.
On Friday afternoon, visitors filed in and stood silently as they paused over Briscoe’s coffin, which was flanked by police officers in full dress uniform. In the backdrop were floral arrangements and other regalia nodding at his ties to the NOPD and Zulu, and the sound of jazz music filtering in from outside the auditorium.
According to initial accounts from police and friends, Briscoe, Riculfy and other members of New Orleans’ legendary Zulu club who were on a guys’ trip to Houston were gathered on the patio of the Grotto Ristorante to smoke cigars when two hooded men with guns demanded that they put their hands up. The victims were complying when at least one of the robbers began firing, police said.
New Orleans police detective’s body to lie in state Friday at Mahalia Jackson Theater
Briscoe was struck and died at the scene, leaving behind his wife and two sons. Riculfy, a husband and father himself, was hit as well and taken to a hospital where he has been in a medically-induced coma fighting for his life since, according to relatives.
Almost immediately, investigators suspected Briscoe and Riculfy had fallen prey to robbers targeting people with expensive jewelry outside upscale retailers, especially near the Galleria.
At least one such robbery attempt culminated in a killing earlier this year, and Finner has been urging residents to be vigilant against this trend dubbed “jugging.”
The Grotto shares a strip mall with a boutique jeweler, and a friend of Riculfy said he was wearing an expensive watch when he and Briscoe were attacked.
The pair of suspects Houston police linked to the double shooting both have prior arrest records for violent crimes.
And the high-profile slaying of Briscoe seems destined to play a role in an ongoing debate over releases on bail in Houston.
Jackson and Jenkins were each free despite earlier felony arrests, Ogg said.
Police arrested Jackson on allegations that he followed a person home from the Galleria in September 2020 and robbed the victim at gunpoint, criminal court records in Houston show.
He had also allegedly broken into a closed building with the intention of stealing things a couple of weeks earlier, the documents add.
Jackson posted bail of $180,000. He was supposed to wear an ankle monitor and be under house arrest 24 hours a day. But records allege he came and went as he pleased, and Ogg accused him of removing the ankle monitor.
Jackson, described as a member of an unspecified gang, was detained without incident Thursday after being pulled over in a car by SWAT officers who had tailed him.
Jenkins is a “known and documented” member of the Young Scott Block gang in Houston’s southeast area, Ogg said. That crew was a major player in a gang war that claimed dozens of lives in recent years, police have said.
Police said they arrested Jenkins on Wednesday at an apartment complex where they found a Nissan Altima that fits the description of the vehicle used to escape the scene of the Grotto shooting.
The day after his arrest, Jenkins was charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in a separate stickup that happened the same day as Briscoe’s death. In that case, court records say, he confessed to acting as the driver when he and two others robbed a man of a watch and a bag.
The victim of that robbery described a chilling sequence of events in a telephone interview. He said he and a companion had just parked their vehicle when the robbers appeared out of nowhere. He ran, but stumbled and fell. One of the robbers ordered him to take off his watch and wallet and he complied.
“Man, you’re lucky I didn’t shoot your ass,” were the robber’s parting words to the victim, he said. “If I didn’t fall, I probably would have run longer and he probably would have shot me.”
The robbers made off in a Nissan Altima with paper plates — the same description as the getaway vehicle in the Grotto shooting.
Court records indicating whether Jenkins and Jackson have lawyers weren’t immediately available.
Detective Everett Briscoe had been in Houston just a couple of hours Saturday when he and his buddy Dyrin “DJ” Riculfy decided to walk to a ne…
41-year-old detective Everett Briscoe was killed in Houston during a shooting at a Galleria restaurant on Saturday.
Police didn’t say whether anyone would collect the $100,000 reward being offered for information leading to criminal charges in Briscoe’s death.
Finner said he’d spoken to Briscoe and Riculfy’s wives, including an in-person meeting with Riculfy’s wife at a Houston hotel Thursday.
“She’s hurting and her family’s hurting. Pray for her husband. He’s still fighting. But more importantly, pray for everybody, everybody involved,” Finner said.
New Orleans City Council member Jay H. Banks, a member of Zulu and close friend of Briscoe, said he greeted word of the arrests with mixed emotions.
“There is some relief that these people have been apprehended,” Banks said. “But it will not bring Everett back. The nightmare these families are going through is unbelievable.”
Just before New Orleans police detective Everett Briscoe left for the fateful trip to Houston where he was killed last weekend, he had finishe…