BATON ROUGE, La. -- Baton Rouge police have charged a 21-year-old man with murder in the shooting death of a 21-year-old Lyft driver last week.
Rashawn T. McMillon was arrested Tuesday and ordered held without bond. Police said McMillon fatally shot Dexter Melton inside a ditch near Baton Rouge on Jan. 25.
Friends told The Advocate Melton had completed two tours of duty in Iraq. He was a mentor to aspiring young football players and planned to go to graduate school in the fall, family members said.
"He was that person when I needed someone to talk to," said cousin Kaylah Crouch. "He always had a smile on his face. He made sure you were OK."
McMillon was arrested on a pre-trail felony warrant alleging aggravated battery, attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. Police said McMillon admitted shooting Melton but allegedly claimed it was an accident.
Investigators questioned McMillon after Melton was found laying dead in the ditch. They said McMillon left the scene in a Chrysler 300 and officials stopped his car soon after.
A police statement said McMillon gave a "written statement" to investigators admitting he shot Melton.
The Louisiana State Police, which handles homicide investigations in the state, said McMillon is facing additional charges of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.
Melton was hired by Lyft after leaving active duty in the Army. He was one of the 100 or so former service members in Baton Rouge who have been hired by transportation services over the past three years, said Dustin Dauzat, the company's general manager for Louisiana.
Melton was "a hardworking, loving young man who had just finished service and was looking to give back to the community," Dauzat said.
Melton had also worked as a flagger and landscaper. Family members said he was earning up to $800 a day before he started a job in September at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as a wellness care technician.
The university did not have an immediate comment.