Mother mourns son's tragic shooting death

Neely Gardner (LPSO)
Neely Gardner (LPSO)

GALLIANO, LA (WVUE) - A Galliano man has turned himself in to authorities after telling them he found a gun on the ground near a house and was trying to unload it when it accidentally fired one round, killing a teenager.

Swimming medals and pictures are all Chelsie Hebert and her daughter have left of her son Braxton Bourda.

"I have 15 years of memories, but I expected many more," Hebert said.

Bourda was a 15-year-old student at South Lafourche High School. The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office said he was biking down his street when he stopped and talked to a group of people sitting outside of an abandoned house.

"He was just making lazy circles, making conversation with the young men which he knew," said Sheriff Craig Webre.

One of those men, 19-year-old Neely Gardner, had a 9mm pistol, Webre said.

"According to witnesses, while Braxton was on his bicycle in the middle of the street, the gun fired and they saw Braxton fall to the ground. They ran to him pulled him to the side of the road," Webre said.

The sheriff's office said that is when the men ran off.

Investigators found Bourda with a single gunshot wound to the face. This tragedy is all too familiar for Hebert. Six years ago, Bourda's father was shot and killed.

"Six years they still haven't found anybody or solved it," Hebert said.

The search for Gardner ended early Friday morning when he turned himself in. But the sheriff said they are still looking for one key piece of evidence

"We certainly want to recover the weapon (and) run ballistics on that," Webre said.

Detectives are hoping it can shed some more light on exactly what happened and maybe give Hebert and her family some answers.

"At the moment, I'm ok, but it's not fun waking up every day to a murder that's not solved," Hebert said. "Don't want to do that again."

Gardner is in Lafourche Parish Jail under a $250,000 bond. He is being charged with negligent homicide.

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