Lafourche councilman speaks about shooting, surviving - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Lafourche councilman speaks about shooting, surviving

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LOCKPORT, LA (WVUE) - Each step is a struggle but Phillip Gouaux works on moving forward every day.

"There's some work I guess I'm left here to do, I'm just fearful as to what that work is going to be," he said, laughing.

The Lafourche Parish councilman has never shied away from hard work, but no job compares to his fight over the last few months.

Gouaux spent two weeks in a medically-induced coma, 47 days in intensive care after his former son-in-law shot him in the neck.

"Many times I felt like giving up, but every time I did one of my daughters would walk in and that would totally change me," Gouaux said.

The last few months have been a physical and emotional battle for Gouaux and his family.

Investigators said the night after Christmas, Ben Freeman, the ex-husband of Gouaux's daughter Jeanne, murdered his current wife Denise at their house in Houma.

He then drove to Lockport, shooting Gouaux and his daughter Andrea, and killing Gouaux's wife Pixie.

Freeman continued on to Raceland and killed Jeanne's boss, Milton Bourgeois, and injured his wife.

His rampage ended a short time later on Highway 90, where Freeman took his own life.

It's a night Gouaux wants to forget.

"You kind of wake up every morning thinking it's not true but seeing Andrea in her condition, you know it's reality," he said. "She's here today so most of my attention has been focused on her."

The shooting left Andrea paralyzed from the waist down but Gouaux said she's back home in Houston and going to physical therapy.

She returned to Lafourche Parish last weekend for a family fundraiser.

The Lockport Lions Club and Holy Savior School are also raising money.

The school meant so much to Pixie, Gouaux's wife of 43 years.

"That was her life, the school and her grand kids," Gouaux said, his eyes filling with tears. "It's just so unfortunate what happened."

Gouaux doesn't want to focus on what happened, but fix his eyes on what's ahead.

He goes to physical therapy a few days a week, hoping to regain more movement in his shoulders.

He has thirteen grandchildren, all who hug a little tighter now.

After working hard through the years, Gouaux is trying to slow down.

"It's given me a total different outlook on life," he said. "You're here for today. you may not be here tomorrow so you have to live for today."

That outlook keeps him moving forward.

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