Arrest in murder of victim pulled from burning car

Rashawn Dewayne Morris

Police arrested and charged a 17-year-old Orange resident with murder Tuesday night, Aug. 27, after witnesses say he shot a man who was pulled from a burning car the night before.

According to news releases from the Orange Police Department, officers were dispatched at approximately 11:52 p.m. Aug. 26 after getting a call about a car on fire at a dead end in the 700 block of Adams Street in Orange. Upon arrival at the scene, police observed a 2008 Chevrolet Impala pulled slightly off the road at the dead end. The car was on fire and smoke filled the interior. Just before the car became fully engulfed, officers pulled an unconscious male victim from the vehicle, police reported.

The man, later identified as 19-year-old Dominique Marquis Janise of Orange was taken to Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital in Beaumont where he was pronounced dead.

Subsequent investigation revealed Janise had been shot, which ultimately resulted in his death. OPD Captain Cliff Hargrave said after several witness interviews, 17-year-old Rashawn Dewayne Morris was arrested at approximately 11:30 p.m. Aug. 27 and charged with murder. He is being held at the Orange County Correctional Facility on $500,000 bond.

Hargrave said it appears the victim had been shot, and then the car set on fire. Regarding motive, Hargrave would only say the incident was “drug related.” Although inquiries to local law enforcement and a database search revealed no criminal history for either the victim or suspected assailant, Hargrave said both men were known to police. He also said both men are suspected of having gang affiliations, but the murder was not gang-related.

“It was senseless,” Hargrave said of the shooting. “It really was.”

— Sharon Brooks