NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An encounter with an intoxicated fisherman turned violent in a wooded-area of Lafitte, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
The incident happened on Friday around noon. A group of seven young men, ranging in age from 15 to 21, was walking near August Lane in Lafitte when they encountered a man fishing and drinking alcoholic beverages. Deputies say that the suspect, identified as 45-year-old Percel Banks, was armed with a rifle when he approached the group and offered to share the fish he caught with them.
"In spite of Banks being armed, the group wasn't concerned, as they too, were in possession of a 12 gauge shotgun," said Col. John Fortunato. "The males knew it was not unusual to possess a firearm in this wooded area because of the wild animals that are present there."
The men report that Banks became intoxicated and began talking about committing violent acts. The group told officers that Banks wanted to purchase a hammer from them so he could "kill individuals with it."
Officers say that Banks eventually took possession of a hammer that one of the men had. He then allegedly retreated into a nearby tent.
Fearing for their safety, deputies say that the men shined a flashlight in Banks' direction. Officers say Banks allegedly threatened the men, who began to run away. As they fled, the victims say Banks began to fire at them.
At this time, officers say one of the men seized his shotgun and began firing it into the air.
Banks allegedly cornered two individuals who hid themselves behind a levee. Officers say he pointed his rifle in their direction.
Fearing for his friends' lives, deputies say that one of young men fired his shotgun at Banks, striking him in the lower leg. Another victim ran to a nearby residence and called 911.
Both firearms and the hammer were found on the scene and collected for processing. Officers say a number of shell casings were recovered as well.
Banks was transported to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Upon his release from the hospital, Banks will be booked on seven counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.
Officers say he has two prior arrests for narcotics along with a traffic arrest.