Graduation party shooting: "I thought I was going to die"

Graduation party shooting: "I thought I was going to die"
Google Maps image locating the VFW Hall on W 5th Street, LaPlace
Google Maps image locating the VFW Hall on W 5th Street, LaPlace
(Source: St. John the Baptist Parish Government)
(Source: St. John the Baptist Parish Government)

LAPLACE, LA (WVUE) - Two women and a teenager are recovering from gunshot wounds after a shooting late Saturday night at a graduation party in LaPlace.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office reports its deputies responded shortly after 11:30 p.m. to the VFW Hall in LaPlace. The shooting victims there - all females, aged 22, 21 and 15 - were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, was sleeping in her home nearby when she heard the shooting outside of her window.

"I was so scared I was going to die because the bed was in the living room and the party and everybody was out here, I was scared that a shot was going to go through our house and we were going to die," the woman said.

The woman said before she crawled to safety she peaked out the window and thinks she caught a glimpse of a gunman.

"I could see the fire and the shot of the gun, I don't know if that's how it looks, but I could see every time he clicked some fire. I don't know if I was imagining, but I think I saw it was a boy," the woman said.

One bullet flew across the street through a neighbor's window and into her closet.

"I heard four, what sounded like fireworks, but I wasn't sure, so that's when I came and looked out the front window and I heard four more shots and I'd seen the flash, which it was toward that way. I think there was another victim, one or two more female victims, and then I heard pop, pop, pop, four more," Jacob Bayard, who lives nearby, said.

Bayard ran outside of his home where he saw one of the victims stumbling across the street.

"She came running across the street, I don't know if she knew if she was hit or not, but she just collapsed, fell face forward and they had some people come over here and a cop came and turned her on her back, and she was shot here, right here in her upper shoulder, and she was crying and she ended up passing out," Bayard said.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said his detectives found multiple spent shell casings of different caliber, which may suggest multiple shooters.

"Two victims are in guarded condition after surgery, and the third victim remains hospitalized for observation," reads a statement from the Sheriff's Office.

The S.O. says the graduation party was a private affair being held at the VFW Hall; no further details on the party have been reported.

No one has been arrested for the shootings, and St. John authorities have yet to release any description of a suspect or suspects.

If you know anything about the shooting, the authorities could use your help:

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Citizens with information about this incident that call Crimestoppers do not have to testify in court and may qualify for a cash reward. Citizens can also submit tips on the Sheriff's Office website at

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