UPDATE: Lafayette Police confirm arrest of Benjamin; death of Fo - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

UPDATE: Lafayette Police confirm arrest of Benjamin; death of Ford

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Lafayette Lafayette

UPDATE: Lafayette Police have confirmed that Dieondre Benjamin was arrested in connection with the shootings downtown this weekend, and released the name of the deceased victim, as KATC reported this morning. 

After calling a press conference and then cancelling it 30 minutes later, Lafayette Police have now issued a press release.

Earlier today, we reported - after receiving an initial offense report indicating someone was apprehended - that Dieondre Benjamin had been booked into LPCC on weapons and attempted murder charges. We also were able to identify the deceased victim, via a request to the parish coroner, that the man slain was George Ford, 23, of New Iberia. 

"Investigators have determined that the victim was engaged in an altercation with multiple individuals on scene, which led to the subsequent shooting that occurred," the release states. 

Deiondra Benjamin, 17, of St. Martinville was arrested after police allegedly saw him firing a handgun and fleeing the area, the release states.  Police chased Benjamin and caught him in the area, allegedly in possession of a gun. He also allegedly confessed to discharging the weapon as he ran away, the release states. 

Investigators have not determined that Benjamin was in the exact area of the fatal shooting or responsible for the death of George Ford, the release states. Benjamin has been charged with Attempted First Degree Murder for firing a weapon toward a crowd of people, the release states. He has not been charged in connection with the death of the victim, the release states. In the incident report, police say they saw multiple people with weapons.

"Our earlier press conference had to be cancelled due to new leads that developed in this case just moment before it was scheduled to be held," the release states. "Investigators are following new leads and information to close this case as quickly and efficiently as possible."

Lafayette Police tell us Ford was killed, and two others injured, just after midnight on Sunday morning.  It happened in the 400 block of Jefferson Street after Festival International activities had concluded for the evening.

According to a spokesman with Lafayette police, investigators believe the shooting stemmed from an isolated incident between individuals in the area.

The two victims that were injured are expected to be okay.  

Anyone with information about this shooting or the individuals involved is asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department or Lafayette Crime Stoppers at 232-TIPS. 


Cpl. Karl Ratcliff added, "We release information as we can and as it is necessary for the investigation. We're not going to hinder the investigation by putting too much information out. Unless we can confirm something and re-confirm it and make sure that we can act upon it, we can't put it out to you guys if we don't know for sure."

He said the large number of people downtown at the time slowed the investigation down.

Ratcliff said surveillance footage only showed people running and that barricades were not a problem when clearing Jefferson Street. He claims all officers in the department were working downtown Saturday night in some capacity. 

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