The Lake Charles Police Department investigation is ongoing to find a motive and those responsible for the senseless killing of beloved local artist Derrick Thornton. As previously reported by KPLC, LCPD found the 43-year-old on Feb. 18 on O'Brien Street after he had been shot to death.

On March 1, the authorities arrested the first suspect in the Thornton murder investigation, a 16- year old juvenile. The teen was taken into custody and charged with one count of first-degree murder. A few days later, another 16-year-old believed to be connected to the case was picked up. In the days following, four additional suspects were arrested for the heinous crime.

Deputy Chief Franklin Fondel reported the second juvenile was arrested when LCPD SWAT officers and detectives served an arrest warrant at a residence in the 4300 block of Gordon Woods Dr. on March 6. Later that same day, SWAT officers arrested a third 16-year-old allegedly connected to the murder while serving a search warrant in the 5000 block of Pecan Acres Dr.

The next day on March 7, Fondel reported two more suspects connected to Thornton's murder were arrested. A fourth suspect, 16, and the fifth suspect, 17, were arrested at LCPD Headquarters during the afternoon. As with the previous suspects, all four teenagers were charged with one principal count of first-degree murder each.

A spokesperson for the Calcasieu District Attorney’s Office reported the DA has not determined if the minors will be tried as adults yet. In the meantime, all suspects are in custody at the Juvenile Detention Center in Lake Charles.

The investigation continues as police try to learn a motive for the killing and make sure anyone potentially involved in the death of Derrick Thornton is brought to justice. If You or anyone has information to help solve this murder case, please contact detectives at (337) 491-1311.

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