Houston, TX police are questioning Hurricane Katrina evacuees that sought refuge in the state, in an attempt to locate five men accused of various crimes, including a man suspected in a revenge murder related to the death of rapper James “Soulja Slim” Tapp.
Police are seeking Jerome Hampton, 23, for the Dec. 28 murder of Steven Kennedy.
Officials suspect Hampton murdered Kennedy to avenge the death of Soulja Slim, who was gunned down in 2003 in New Orleans.
Soulja Slim was shot 3 times and shortly afterwards, 22-year-old Garelle Smith was arrested and charged with Soulja Slim’s murder, but the charges were eventually dropped.
Police also suspected Soulja Slim in an unrelated murder before he was gunned down.
“We want people to know that they shouldn’t be afraid to speak out,” Houston police Sgt. Brian Harris told the Associated Press. “We need evacuees to see that this is a different justice system that will see cases through and take ownership over what happens in this city. If you go to jail in Houston, you stay in jail.”
Authorities also believe some of the violence is the result of drug gangs from various New Orleans housing complexes attempting to gain in-roads in the drug trafficking market in Houston.
Two other men are being sought for a shooting, robbery and murder of two victims for their money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Another man is accused of killing his friend over a monetary dispute last week, while the fifth suspect is being sought for the home invasion of an evacuee, who was robbed of his FEMA money as well.