Officials react to security at Avery Trace Apartments after 15-year-old arrested, local man killed

Published 5:58 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

Port Arthur Police detectives are looking for video footage from Saturday’s fatal shooting at Avery Trace Apartments.

“We are looking for footage from that location and from people with Ring cameras on their apartments and any cell phone footage from possible witnesses,” Port Arthur Police Chief Tim Duriso said.

On Sunday, a 15-year-old Port Arthur male, accompanied by a guardian, turned himself in in connection with the shooting death of Quarderious Jordan, 26.

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The juvenile is being held at the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center, police said.

Five homicides have occurred at Avery Trace since 2017: Javonte Jack, 20, in 2017, Joseph Boudreaux, 25, in 2018, DeShandric Clayton, 23, in 2019, Steve Summerville, 32, in 2021 and Quarderious Jordan, on Saturday.

In July of last year, Avery Trace Apartments added signs and banners advertising the security cameras on the premises.

Michael Knight, executive vice president with Better World Properties, LLC that manages the property, said Avery Trace has a camera system that covers areas of the property, and footage they have is readily shared with law enforcement.

The system, he said, has been in place for a number of years.

Port Arthur Newsmedia asked Knight what security measures are in place at the complex.

“As property owners and managers, we are anxious to provide a quality living environment. To the extent we can deter crime through various physical measures and exclude those known to present a risk we do so; however, we do not represent or warrant that any particular level of security will be maintained,” Knight said. “Our hope and desire is that all members of the community will take collective responsibility for creating a more secure environment by getting to know your neighbors, speaking with one another directly about challenges and concerns, confronting bad behavior, reporting issues directly to law enforcement and encouraging good citizenship.”

According to the Texas Apartment Association lease agreement, which tenants sign, the apartments do not warrant security of any kind.

“You agree that you will not rely upon any security measures taken by us for personal security, and that you will call 9-1-1 and local law enforcement authorities if any security needs arise,” according to information from Better World Properties, LLC.

The agreement further states they are not required to provide any private security services and no security devices or measures on the property are fail-safe.

Some of the rental units at Avery Trace fall under low-income and under the umbrella of Port Arthur Housing Authority.

Robert Reid, chairman of the Port Arthur Housing Authority board of commissioners, said they provide 130 vouchers to the 300 units at the complex.

“We are not the management group. Avery Trace is privately owned,” Reid said. “We do not have the authority to require them to provide security. The leasing agreement is between the tenant and the ownership group of the complex.”

Earlier this year Deborah Freeman, whose son was killed at a different apartment complex, asked the Port Arthur City Council to help the police by requiring apartment complexes to provide adequate security for residents and visitors.

Her hope was for an ordinance that requires the complexes to provide security, lights and cameras.

There was also talk of city leaders sitting down and talking with apartment managers regarding security.

Mayor Thurman Bartie said he and City Manager Ron Burton did speak with some managers and learned some of the people who committed the crimes don’t even live at the complexes.

“Everybody’s trying to find a place to lay the blame. The blame is on society and the morals and values a certain group of individuals embrace,” Bartie said. “I’m not going to say the police are not doing their job. I’m not going to say the apartments are not doing their job. Society as a whole is not doing their job.”

Regarding crime at the complex, he said in most instances it’s someone from the outside and not the tenant, and for whatever reason, they bring the behaviors that give a bad name to decent folk.

PAPD was called to Avery Trace Apartments, 4160 FM 365, at approximately 9:05 a.m. Saturday in reference to a shooting.

While there they found Quarderious Jordan, 26, of Port Arthur dead from a gunshot.

A 15-year-old male from Port Arthur was identified as the suspect, police said.