NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -For Deronta Laugand, the loss is immeasurable. His step-father was murdered, and his mother stabbed multiple times at the hands of his brother, who was ultimately shot and killed.
“Tragically this had to happen on Thanksgiving Day, and we have to bury two people. It’s all just fresh and new,” says Laugand.
Laugand says his brother, 30-year-old DeFranklin Reynolds, was mentally ill, and he says his family tried on many occasions to get him help.
“We tried to have him seen, and we tried to look to the state for doing that, but they kept sending him back. They sent him back twice,” says Laugand.
Thanksgiving morning, Laugand, a New Orleans Fire Fighter, was at work when he received a frantic Facetime call from his older brother that Reynolds was out of control.
“He Facetimed me to try to get some help or to try to see what he could do to help, but it all started going down hill from there,” says Laugand.
Police says Reynolds grabbed a knife and stabbed his 82-year-old stepfather multiple times before turning the knife on his 51-year-old mother.
At that moment, Laugand says his older brother had to act quickly to save his mother.
He says his brother was forced to do the unthinkable.
“He had to save my mom’s life, but unfortunately he had to shoot my brother. I don’t know how he’s dealing with it and coping with it. We just have to take it one day at a time now,” says Laugand.
Laugand says he desperately tried to get home from the fire house, but he didn’t make it in time.
“Dealing with the furloughs, I couldn’t leave immediately. I had to wait and follow protocol. I was helpless. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t able to get home. I just met them at the hospital,” says Laugand.
He believes the system failed his family, after he says multiple attempts were made to get his brother mental help. Now, he hopes what happened will serve as an example of why more is needed.
“It really hurts my family, and it really hurts my mom because two lives could have been saved and an event like this could have been prevented,” says Laugand.
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