Woman killed by stray bullet in Bogalusa drive-by shooting; mayor pleads for peace
BOGALUSA, La. (WVUE) - A drive-by shooting claimed the life of an innocent bystander in Bogalusa on Tuesday (Aug. 23), prompting Mayor Wendy Perrette to put out a call for peace, officials said.
The shooting happened shortly after noon in the 1400 block of Main Street. Police say the scene was chaotic; a drive-by shooting had just occurred, over 10 rounds were fired and there were several people inside a nearby home.
One of the residents, 50-year-old Veronique Allen, was in the front room of the home and struck in the head by a stray bullet, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This lady was sitting in the house, getting her hair done, just an unintended target. By spraying bullets into a house, you don’t know who you’re going to hit,” Bogalusa Police Maj. Wendell O’Berry said.
Mayor Perrette said Allen was not the intended target.
“We have had enough violence in Bogalusa, and I call on every citizen to cooperate with police while they investigate this horrible crime,” Perrette said. “The devaluing of human life in the name of the drug trade and gang allegiances should never happen anywhere. And the people of our community are fed up.
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“Bogalusa P.D. can’t do it alone. We need every citizen to stand up, step forward, and unite against crime. We need to seek rational, lawful means to resolve disputes, and never resort to violence. We need our faith community to stand resolutely in reminding people that we worship a God of peace – a God who calls upon all of us to play a role in stemming the tide of violence.”
O’Berry said it’s aggravating that no one has stepped up to help police put a stop to retaliatory crimes.
“I’m sure someone in the community knows who did this, as they do for pretty much all the homicides,” O’Berry said. “If you want them out of the community, come tell us today. Or else it might take us a little longer. We’re not going to stop. But, it would help if they were a little more cooperative.”
O’Berry said detectives were working several leads into the night. They also have ideas about who the shooters might have been targeting, but said it’s too early to speculate.
Perrette said police are working with federal agencies to put a stop to the city’s gun violence, which recently claimed the life of popular rap artist JayDaYoungan.
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