BARKSDALE AFB, La. (KMSS/KTAL) – The commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base issued a statement Wednesday afternoon expressing deep concern for the safety of the military members and their families assigned to BAFB in light of the recent murders of five Barksdale Airmen and/or their spouses.
“I’ve been stationed at eight installations in my 25-year Air Force career and I have never experienced as many murders involving Airmen and their families,” said Air Force Col. Michael A. Miller.
In his statement, Col. Miller listed names of the those associated with Barksdale Air Force base who have been murdered in the year since he took command of BAFB in June 2018.
“On Sept. 25, 2018 Joshua Kidd, a technical sergeant who was assigned to the 2nd Maintenance Group, was murdered outside of his home. “
Two teens were arrested a week after Kidd’s murder. Jareona Crosby, then 17, and 15-year-old Alonzo Wilson, are both charged with second-degree murder. Wilson has been charged as an adult in the case. In a pre-trial hearing on July 10, a judge ruled that audio of the initial police interview with Crosby will be admissible at trial.
“On Nov. 8, 2018, Tech. Sgt. Kelly Jose and his spouse Heather Jose were murdered after giving a man a ride when they were shopping at Mall St. Vincent. Tech. Sgt. Jose was a reservist and full-time civil servant Airman for the 307th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “
Dewayne Willie Watkins, 34, was indicted February 14, 2019 by the Caddo Parish Grand Jury in connection with the November 8, 2018 robbery, kidnapping and slaying of the couple. The Joses were found inside a burned car. The Caddo Parish District Attorney announced in March that the state would seek the death penalty when the case goes to trial.
“On June 22, 2019, Mr. Antonio Williams, a U.S. Postal worker, was gunned down while delivering mail in Shreveport. He was the spouse of Ivy Shelby-Williams, a civil servant Airman in the 2nd Medical Group. “
Michael Gentry, 32, was arrested hours after the shooting and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Williams’ death. Police say Gentry shot Williams as he was delivering mail to his home in Shreveport’s South Highlands neighborhood.
“On June 30, 2019, Perry Bailey, a technical sergeant assigned to the 2nd Medical Group, was murdered in a residence in Shreveport. “
Investigators in that case were told by the female homeowner that her former boyfriend, Brandan Brown, broke into the residence through the master bedroom window and shot Bailey, who was her current boyfriend. According to the coroner’s office, Brown then turned the gun on himself. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. Bailey died at the hospital.
I am deeply concerned for the safety of the military members and their families assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base. Not only am I concerned about their personal well-being, but also our ability to recruit and retain the necessary talent to complete our mission to defend our nation.
I understand and respect our local law enforcement, and I know this is a complex challenge to solve in the community as a whole. This issue is not one we will solve quickly or by assigning blame. We must work together to build safe communities. Our Airmen and I live in and, are invested in, the community and want to be part of the solution. Together, we can make Shreveport and Bossier safer for our families and the community.USAF Col. Michael A. Miller, 2nd Bomb Wing commander at Barksdale Air Force Base