50-year-old Cortrell Montesez Burks was just arrested and charged in connection with the shooting deaths of 2 people at a Valero gas station in Louisiana. Burks allegedly robbed the store at 10 am and, during the robbery, shot and killed both the store clerk, 36-year-old Jairah Hamilton, and a customer, 47-year-old Joshua Ryan Calk.
Police officers then responded to the scene of the robbery and, when they arrived, Burks emerged from the store and began firing on them. One responding officer was hit by Burks’ gunfire and hospitalized. Additionally, a bystander in the parking lot also was hit in the fire fight. He was shot in the leg, with an injury to his femoral artery.
Burks charged with multiple felony charges including two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery, three counts of first-degree attempted murder, and a fugitive charge.
Burks was, at the time of the Lousiana murders, already wanted on another murder charge for having stabbed a woman to death in Alabama.
A worker at Taqueria La Reyna A Dela Sur, a restaurant in the same building as the gas station, described the shooting attack, saying:
“It sounded like a big helium balloon when it pops. It was very, very loud. We looked at each other in panic because we didn’t know what it was until one of our co-workers went to go look and they saw someone lying on the floor.
“And then that’s when the other gentleman told us to run out the back door. We ran as far as we could and we ran behind a car. Next thing we knew, we were on the phone with the police and they ran up very, very quickly. And all I saw was a door open and all I heard were gunshots.”
Bossier City Public Information Officer Louis Johnson, describing the police response to Burks and his murders of the people at the gas station, said:
“Initially shots were fired. After the shots were fired, there was a call made. The callers were employees at the adjoining Mexican restaurant. They heard the shots and made the call. After making the call, Bossier City Police responded. They arrived on scene in exactly one minute, 33 seconds. We are certain that their quick response time is what saved lives yesterday.
“It is reported that the suspect went into the business and while there, he took the lives of two people. After arriving on the scene, Bossier City Police department officers took on gun fire. They were struck several times. The officer was struck once in the chin, once in the shoulder and both legs. After the impact, it rendered him unconscious. He was very fortunate that the other officer was on scene, and that officer was able to keep him protected. At this point, that officer will be unnamed. Because of an ongoing investigation, he is now on paid administrative leave.
“The officer that was injured was Officer Kenny Gallon. We find that the suspect had a spree from southern Alabama and along the way. There was a bystander that was also shot and injured. He had a major injury. But because we had another Bossier City Police department member on the scene, Officer Danny “Bo” Turner, he put a truncate on the injury. He stopped the bleeding and saved his life. Within minutes, not only was the Police department there, but our fire department was there well within about three minutes.”
“After the shooting, the suspect fled to the nearby LeBossier hotel. We want to commend the manager that was on duty. After hearing the shots, she locked the door. By locking the door, the suspect was not able to make entry. And not being able to make entry, he did no further harm. He was then confronted by the Bossier City Police Department, at which time they identified him as the person that was responsible and he was arrested.”
“On behalf of our Mayor, City of Bossier, we want to give our condolences as we identify the two fatalities. Joshua Ryan Calk. He’s a 47 year old white male who was a customer. We also had Jairiah Hamilton. He is a 36 year old Black male who was the clerk.”
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, announcing the stabbing death in Alabama and the other crimes that Burks allegedly committed in connection with that stabbing death, said:
At approximately 6:26 PM this evening, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 300 block of 20th Avenue NE to conduct a requested welfare check. Upon arrival, a 40-year-old female was found deceased, She had been stabbed to death. The suspect in the homicide is believed to have then traveled to the 800 block of 48th Street North, inside the city limits of Birmingham and fired multiple shots into the home. It is thought that this location is the home of the homicide victim’s mother. Four people were reported to have been struck by gunfire at that location. Their injuries are thought to be non-life-threatening.
A person of interest is being sought at this time. Cortrell Burks, a 50-year-old black male, who is 6’2” tall and weighs approximately 250 lbs, He may have a shaved head and a grey beard. He was last seen driving a 2005 black Nissan Armada bearing tag #1A0TBH8. If you see Burks or this vehicle, please call 911,
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Detectives and Detectives from the City of Birmingham will be working together to complete a thorough investigation in these cases. If you have any information on either of these incidents, you may call Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777. You may also contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office or the Birmingham Police Department.
Featured image credit: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
"*" indicates required fields