NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A man found dead in a car riddled with bullet holes on the Bonnet Carre Spillway early Sunday (Feb. 17) was identified the next day as Lester Borne, Jr. -- a 26-year-old Reserve man described fondly by his family as a jokester.
His sister, Shenita McBride, and cousin, Elvira Gray, said they want to remember him one way -- laughing.
“We were always clowning each other. That’s how he was. He was just funny," Gray said. "I’d call him big head anything. He was funny.”
Sheriff Greg Champagne said deputies received a call about a single vehicle crash in the westbound lanes of I-10 around 3:25 a.m.
When deputies arrived on the scene, Champagne said they saw the crashed vehicle had numerous bullet holes and Borne was dead inside.
Gray said she feels the 26-year-old was targeted.
“That’s what it seems. I mean we just feel like there’s more to the story that we’re not getting to the bottom of," Gray said.
McBride said was shocked when she got the call about what happened to her brother and immediately started driving from Texas.
“Everybody just blindsided right now," McBride said. “I never thought I’d have to come here under these circumstances. Not like this. Just Thursday, just Thursday we talked."
Investigators said two other people were in the car with Borne and both sustained minor injuries. One was shot in the leg, officials said, and the other was hurt in the accident. Both were home from the hospital Monday, officials said.
Gray and McBride agreed it seemed as though Borne was the target, but both are baffled as to why.
“I never known of him getting into trouble like any gang anything. I never know him to get into anything like that," Gray said.
As they mourn the tragic loss, the women said they can’t help but think about the person who did this to their family.
“Even if whoever did it gets caught, somebody still losing a child, to the system or to the grave. It don’t matter somebody losing a child," McBride said.
McBride said even though they’ve lost the jokester, but won’t forget the man.
“My brother’s going to live on. That’s just what it is," McBride said.
Deputies closed I-10 westbound and diverted traffic to I-310 during their investigation Sunday, but the interstate has since been reopened.
Investigators said it seems the vehicle may have possibly collided with a white vehicle.
If anyone has any information about the shooting or the possible hit and run crash, they are asked to contact Detective Jenni Barrette at (985) 783-1135 or (985) 783-6807.