Josh Pierre Held without Bail in Fatal Shooting

By Chris Wangler
October 7, 2023

After being captured in Florida, Josh Pierre, 21, was ordered held without bail Friday on murder and unlicensed firearm possession charges. He appeared in Waltham District Court during his arraignment, but was not visible.

Pierre is accused of fatally shooting 22-year-old Shelson Jules [in photo below] on May 22, not far from Gardencrest where they both lived.


Judge Ellen Caulo also revoked bail on marijuana trafficking charges against Pierre filed not long before the deadly shooting.  

Pierre’s case appears headed to Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn after he was indicted by a grand jury on September 28.


Fatal Fight

In court, attorneys said the fatal shooting grew out of a Snapchat quarrel between Shelson Jules and two others: Pierre and a Waltham accomplice, Strawensky Cebeat, 21, who has already been charged as an accessory.

Neither attorney said what the argument was about.


A licensed firearm owner, Jules brought a gun to a meeting he set up at Lyman Street and Faneuil Road.

He placed the gun on top of his vehicle, electing to fight with fists instead, according to prosecutor Graham Van Epps. 


He traded blows with Pierre, who also allegedly brought a firearm to the meeting. 

When Jules reached for his gun, it fell off his vehicle, according to a witness.


Allegedly Pierre then fatally shot Jules twice from behind. Eight 9 mm casings were found on the ground, as well as two live rounds. Bullets struck a vehicle and a nearby home, alarming residents.

Defense attorney Derege Demissie said that it appeared Jules was shot with his own gun.


He argued that his client was threatened and the case involves “a valid issue of self defense.” 


The shooting happened in May, but it has been a long road to an arraignment in Waltham District Court. 

Not charged in the shooting until July, Josh Pierre eluded investigators for months before being captured on September 22. 


Waltham and State Police were assisted by the the United States Marshals Task Force, and two Waltham senior officers traveled to Florida as part of the team effort.


“Over the course of the investigation, Pierre allegedly took numerous steps to evade capture before he was ultimately located in Miramar, Florida,” said a Middlesex District Attorney press release. He led police on a foot chase through several buildings before being captured and returned to Massachusetts.

There is no date yet for Josh Pierre’s arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court following his grand jury indictment.

Shelson Jules and Josh Pierre appeared to have a lot in common.

Not only were both Gardencrest residents of similar ages from Haitian backgrounds, but they both graduated from Waltham High School.

Friends and family of Shelson Jules were in court during the arraignment on Friday. An online fundraiser after his death raised more than $20,000 for funeral expenses.

 File photos