A 55-year-old Cleveland man, Phillip Simmons, is facing a first-degree felony murder charge after police say he fatally shot 49-year-old Trena Monique Jordan around 5:18 p.m. Thursday in the 800 block of S. Holly Ave. in Cleveland.
According to Cleveland Police Capt. Scott Felts, Jordan suffered numerous gunshot wounds and was found lying on the back porch of her residence. Witnesses at the scene identified Simmons as the shooter and helped police by providing a description of his vehicle.
Around 6:03 p.m., a tip from a citizen led police to Simmons’ location. The citizen advised police that they were following a black pickup truck matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle.
A few minutes later, Felts and Sgt. David Edwards caught up to the suspect’s vehicle on US 59 southbound near the San Jacinto River Bridge.
“The suspect vehicle was slowed by congested traffic due to ongoing construction, but failed to stop. The vehicle was blocked in by officers and a felony take-down was initiated. Phillip Simmons was removed from the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident,” Felts said.
Police allege that Simmons was in possession of a 9 mm handgun that is believed to have been used in the commission of the murder. He and his vehicle were transported to Cleveland Police Department.
Police Chief Darrel Broussard called Jordan’s murder “senseless” and has left her teenage daughter and son without their mother.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s [children], family and friends. We will be praying for loved ones affected by this brutal murder. We will work non-stop to ensure justice is served in this senseless killing,” Broussard said.
The case is being investigated by Capt. James Primeaux, Detective Kevin Cook and Detective John Shaver. A search warrant was obtained for the victim’s residence with the assistance of Liberty County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Barnes.
Pct. 6 Justice of the Peace Ralph Fuller was called to the scene to pronounce the victim deceased. Fuller ordered an autopsy.
Frieda White, the founder of Operation Refuge Food Pantry, said that Jordan will be remembered for her generous heart for the community and its residents. She was a frequent volunteer at the food bank and also helped in food distributions at Liberty Church.
“She was a wonderful person. She was one of the most caring individuals you could meet. It really hurts my heart,” White said.
Police have not identified a motive for the shooting.
Simmons’ former stepson, Gerard Dante Simmons, also is being held at the Liberty County Jail on a capital murder charge. Gerard is accused of the August 2016 murder of Latasha Green and is expected to stand trial in the coming months.
Green, a mother of five, had been the focus of a missing persons report. Her body was found in a wooded area off Wells Cemetery Road off of Plum Grove Road, just south of the SH 105 bypass in Cleveland. She was 36 at the time of her death.