HOUSTON – A Houston man was sentenced to 65 years in prison for shooting a man in a gunfight outside of a gas station in the Copperfield area in 2020, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Tuesday.
Percy Dedeounta Semien, 22, was convicted by a jury of murder in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Jaden LaCour on June 14, 2020. He was sentenced by state District Judge Robert Johnson.
Investigators said during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Semien and LaCour agreed to meet up in the parking lot of a gas station at West Road near Easton Commons at around 11:45 p.m. Although LaCour had cash on him when he was killed, Ogg said it is unclear exactly why they were meeting. LaCour reportedly arrived with other people in a vehicle, and Semien had arrived with other people who parked down the street.
Surveillance video from the store allegedly showed that their total interaction lasted less than two minutes. Authorities said Semien and a friend approached LaCour and began speaking to him. Within a few moments, investigators said it appeared that LaCour and Semien became involved in a struggle, where LaCour was grabbed and pulled toward Semien. Semien then started shooting as he ran away, authorities said.
LaCour was reportedly shot in the leg and abdomen and taken by ambulance to Ben Taub Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators said they were able to review surveillance video at the convenience store and later identified Semien as the shooter.
“It is nothing short of a tragedy when a 20-year-old man loses his life in brazen and thoughtless gun violence,” Ogg said. “There are consequences when someone pulls out a gun and starts shooting—one man lost his life and the shooter will spend decades behind bars.”
Assistant District Attorney Heather Axline, a chief in the DA’s trial bureau, prosecuted the case with ADA Tyler Arner and noted that Semien never took responsibility for his actions and even tried to blame his victim.
“When you slow down the surveillance video, it’s very clear about what happened,” Axline said. “This was not self-defense and it was not defense of others—we see pretty clearly what happened.”