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St. Charles Parish sheriff pleads for help to end violence blamed on a gang or family clan

Five people were shot in Killona on Tuesday evening including a 14-year-old
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 6:36 PM CST
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KILLONA, ST. CHARLES PARISH (WVUE) - St. Charles Parish authorities plead with the public to help solve a shooting outside a neighborhood grocery store in the tiny community of Killona on Tuesday evening which left a man dead and four others wounded including a 14-year-old.

It happened in the 100 block of Killona Drive, according to St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne who believes the shooting is connected to a group of people who he says have been engaging in acts of violence for months across three parishes, St. Charles, St. John, and St. James.

Joyce Perry lives on the street where the shooting took place.

“All I heard is pow, pow, pow, pow you know, like it was 15 times but I thought it was fireworks. I said, ooh, let me go, let me go, see I stay down this street, and this here is like a tragedy now,” said Perry.

The sheriff said 29-year-old Darzel Washington died on the scene. FOX 8 is not identifying the other shooting victims taken to a local hospital. Champagne said they were ambushed outside the grocery store around 6:30 pm.

“An unknown number of suspects had sneaked up from behind the convenience store from the west and essentially in an ambush-style attack opened fire on the group of males that were in front of the store,” said Champagne. “I think it’s safe to say that we have been dealing with an inter-parish group of, I don’t know what the proper word would be, family, clan, gang, cliques of individuals who are engaged in a cycle of violence, retaliation for violence and it continues.

He said there are people who know the shooters and he is pleading with them to help law enforcement catch the perpetrators and end the months of violence.

“Some of the same names keep popping up so we do have an idea of who may be involved but there’s a difference between having an idea and having hard evidence that you can put into an arrest warrant and really bring those hoodlums for a lack of a better term, violent hoodlums to justice, so it continues,” said Champagne.

A resident too fearful to have her identity known spoke of the ongoing violent feuds.

“This stuff has been going on for a while, so I don’t know,” she said. “Lately, it’s been wild, for the last year… I know the fighting and shooting. This has been shooting, not just fighting and shooting.”

The sheriff fears even younger children will eventually be harmed.

“But the next step is, the next logical step to this cycle of violence that’s going on in three parishes, is that we’re going to end up with a situation much like you had in New Orleans a couple of years ago where you have an infant who takes a bullet that goes through a mobile home or something of that nature, that’s coming, that’s next and then the infant is going to be killed or maybe two are going to be killed and then everybody is going to want to know why didn’t they do something? What happened, why could this happen in this community? Well, now is the time to do something about it. There are people out there who know something. They know who did it; they know where the weapons are. Make the call, call Crimestoppers,” said Champagne.

He said he has met with authorities in the two other parishes to stop the street violence. And he suspects drugs may be involved in the feuding which included gunfire on I-310.

Perry is pleading for peace.

“My heart goes out so deeply to the bereaved family,” she said.

Anyone with information on the shooter or shooters should call the sheriff’s office at (985) 783-6807 or call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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