LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Consolidated Government held a press briefing on Tuesday where Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle took questions about the recent shooting at Moore Park and calls to restore park police.
Asked about the fatal shooting at Moore Park on Oct. 14 and if there is any discussion from Mayor-President Josh Guillory about reinstating the park police, Angelle said, “We are always very proud of the job that our police do, and we are looking at all of our options.”
Angelle said that LCG is looking at whatever ways they can to fund the Lafayette Police Department more to ensure that they have more coverage.
Angelle said that he spoke with the Lafayette Police chief who said that he has started a four-person detail that will be in place following big events, like the Ragin’ Cajuns game that happened prior to the shooting in Moore Park.
"So, we will be seeing an increased presence in some of these areas just to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again," Angelle said.
He added that park police did not work after hours, and that after 5 p.m. on a normal working day is when LPD would routinely patrol the parks as well.
Guillory announced earlier this year that the Lafayette Parks & Recreation Department would receive severe cuts in his proposed 2020-2021 budget, which included eliminating all of the Park Police Officers.
Angelle said there were a lot of instances when park police were active and did have occasions when something like this shooting would happen and they would call LPD for assistance.
"We are able to handle this with our Lafayette Police Department, and again, we are very proud of them and they work very hard," Angelle said.
Angelle was also asked if police were scanning social media in order to be aware ahead of time about such events.
He responded that with COVID-19, a lot of these parties would normally be held in clubs or bars.
"There’s not really a place for folks to go at this time to celebrate and see events like this," Angelle said. "So, this is not something that we see very often and certainly not something that involves a shooting like what happened this past weekend."
Angelle said that police were in the area prior to the shooting.
"We are monitoring the situation and we are looking at what we can do," he said. "But we did have officers that were on scene before that shooting even took place. So, there was a police presence in the area. So, it’s not for a lack of police presence."
On Oct. 15, LPD said they investigated a fatal shooting at Moore Park after responding to a shots fired investigation at around 1 a.m.
LPD siad that four victims were suffering from gunshot wounds, and two of those victims later died from their injuries.
Sgt. Wayne Griffin with LPD identified the victims killed in the shooting as 19-year-old Jakyrie Clark and 18-year-old Nathanial Sharply both of Lafayette.
Police say there was a party after the UL Football game and around 300 people were gathered at the park. A fight broke out, which turned into a shooting.
It was not known how many shots were fired. There are no suspects developed in this shooting. Police say the suspect(s) fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival.
Family, friends and community members gathered on Monday for a vigil for one of the two teens killed in a shooting last week.
Those gathered wore white and blue and held balloons for Ja'Kyrie Clark. Clark and another teen, 18-year-old Nathanial Sharply both of Lafayette died as a result of the shooting.
LPD confirmed that they responded to a report of shots fired Monday night near Moore Park. The shots were reportedly fired around the same time as a vigil was being held in the park for one of two teens killed during a party last week.
The local NAACP chapter called on LCG to re-instate the park police department during a separate press briefing held at the same time as Angelle's press briefing on Tuesday.
The full LCG press briefing from Tuesday can be watched below:
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