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Public reacts to shooting inside Dollar General on Hwy 14

Posted: 5:58 PM, Sep 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-28 17:46:16-04

NEW IBERIA: A man is in critical condition after being shot in the head Wednesday night inside a Dollar General store in New Iberia.

23-year-old Joel Saenz is under arrest and charged with attempted second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

One woman left minutes before the shooting happened.

“I was here and like two minutes, before I left or when I left, the man got shot. I’m glad I made it out of there before it happened because I wouldn’t have known what to do,” said New Iberia resident Kylee Colson.

Deputies say on Wednesday night the victim was leaving the Dollar General on Highway 14 when he was shot in the head. Authorities say the victim was fighting with a man, who is believed to be the suspect’s brother, just before the shot was fired.

“This is the second shooting since the store has been open, and I’m not really happy about the store being open until 10 o’clock at night,” said resident Sandy Gaspard.

Gaspard lives across the street from the store and says she stops there several times a day. She is not only worried about her safety but the safety of those who earn a living there.

“I don’t feel like these ladies are safe. And, I feel like they should have a man working at these hours of the night on Highway 14 out in the country like this,” said Gaspard.

Resident Mark Provost says the Dollar General store on Highway 14 is the busiest of its kind in New Iberia.

“For someone to be that bold to come around in an area like this, it’s getting bad,” said Provost.

Investigators believe the dispute between the victim and the suspect has been on-going. No one else inside the store was hurt. Many are even more concerned by the very fact that the shooting happened inside the business.

“People just bringing in their kids knowing that someone could walk in with a gun at any moment makes anybody feel unsafe,” said New Iberia mom Alexis Reed.