Pineville homicide victim called joyful person, proud grandmother

By Bill Sumrall
EverythingCenla

PINEVILLE — The peace of a racially diverse neighborhood here was shattered by a drive-by shooting Tuesday night that left a mother and grandmother dead.

Annette Harris, 36, of 531 Lakeview St., was fatally wounded in the head late Tuesday night, May 11, making her Pineville’s first homicide victim since 1999.

Police arrested Jeremy Carlton Kirk Sr., 17, of 110 Nora St. Pineville. He was charged with first-degree murder and resisting an officer. A 16-year-old juvenile was also arrested and charged with accessory after the fact of first-degree murder.

Demarcus Kieel, 19, who said he’d been the dead woman’s fiance also living at 531 Lakeview, talked with EverythingCenla outside the house Thursday, May 13.

“She liked making people happy, liked making them laugh,” Kieel said. “She was a joyful person.”

Kieel said he and Harris had been together for a year and two months but wished she hadn’t died.

“I wish that it wouldn’t, just really, just happen like this but it happened like this, so I’ve got to accept it, and I love her from the bottom of my heart,” Kieel said.

“I’m going to always love her. She’s going to always have a spot in my heart regardless, no matter what, what,” Kieel said, stumbling over some of his words slightly as he continued, “what I go through, at all times.”

Kieel said Harris was a Pineville native who had a 12-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter who live in Arkansas and whom he was still trying to notify about their mother’s death.

Harris also had a grandchild who she was “very much excited” about caring for, Kieel said.

“She took care of that baby every single day. Every time she went to sleep, she’d wake up, feeding the baby, changing the baby and everything, just like a grandmother’s supposed to do,” Kieel said.

“Wherever she basically went, she really just took the baby with her and stuff. She wanted to see the baby grow up, and, you know what I’m saying, be there for the baby and help her daughter with her child and stuff like that,” Kieel said.

Kieel said Harris worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA, worked at Crossroads a couple of months and talked about returning to school to become a Registered Nurse or RN.

“But …,” Kieel said, his voice trailing off.

Harris liked having fun with her kids, taking them places and doing things as a family and also “she liked partying, liked listening to music, liked watching movies and stuff,” Kieel said.

Funeral arrangements are still in the process of being arranged, Kieel said.

Kieel added that a previously published report was incorrect about the unnamed 16-year-old juvenile arrested by police and charged in connection with the shooting.

“They have the wrong suspect. They have one person that wasn’t involved in the situation,” Kieel said, referring to the unnamed 16-year-old juvenile.

“That’s one of my friends, one of my close, close friends …,” Kieel said, pausing as two women standing nearby who had been helping Kieel with cleaning the house indicated caution to Kieel about naming the juvenile.

“He was not one of the ones that was in the car and was not one of the ones that was shooting at all. The only one I know that was shooting was Jeremy Kirk,” Kieel said, who added he intends to let police know about this.

Outside the house Thursday too was Charles McCawley, who said he was previously misidentified in published reports as the landlord but only manages the property for relatives and does not own it.

“As far as I know, she (Harris) was a good person, she was friendly, she just had her first grand-baby,” McCawley said.

“She was very proud of her little grandbaby and all that, and we’ve never had no trouble out of her or her husband or her two kids or anything,” McCawley said.

McCawley clarified he was referring to Kieel as husband to Harris.

“She was just an easy-going person, you know, and very proud of that first grandbaby of hers,” McCawley said.

McCawley said the neighborhood is racially diverse, with residents who are black, white, Cambodian, Hispanic and Vietnamese.

“Usually everybody gets along fine,” McCawley said.

The shooting “shocked so many people because this is a very nice neighborhood,” McCawley added.
Veronica Hawkins, 49, standing in the doorway of 533 Lakeview Street, agreed.
“It just really shocked me — I walk up and down here all the time,” said Hawkins, who lives in the house next door to where Harris resided.

Hawkins said she moved here from Michigan, and that her husband called 911 when he heard the shot. She described the neighborhood as racially diverse and peaceful, but had not lived there long enough to know Harris.

“I did not know her personally,” Veronica Hawkins said, but noted she saw people walking all the time on Lakeview to exercise, go to the store or ride bicycles.

Hawkins added she thought there were legal ways of settling an alleged dispute about a vehicle which she’d learned reportedly triggered the drive-by shooting.

In her opinion, the 17-year-old accused in the shooting “just threw away his life,” Hawkins said.

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