OPELOUSAS, L.a — After a fatal shooting early Thursday morning off of Creswell Lane in the Vista Village Shopping Center, Opelousas residents are worried.
Veronica Mallet has lived in the city for almost three decades. She told KATC that she believes there has recently been an uptick in these shootings and other violent crimes. She noted, however, that this one is a bit different.
"I live right across the street within the Creswell Lane area and, um, it's kinda spooky," Mallet said. "I mean, you hear about a lot of shootings here and there even around Opelousas, but this is really close to home."
Lucille Stelly is another long-time resident. Spending most of her life in Opelousas, she said she is noticing some unfortunate changes within the community she loves.
"Opelousas used to be such a peaceful place," Stelly said. "I've lived here over 50 years, and for the last 20 years, it's really spiraled, you know, in crime, yes."
Opelousas Police Chief Martin McClendon told KATC his department is in the early stages of this investigation, but they are confident they'll lock down the suspect.
"We have a mother in our city that is grieving because the blood of her son is on the streets of Opelousas," he said. "I made a commitment to that mother this morning that we would bring the killer to justice, or killers, whoever they are, whoever's involved, they are going to be arrested shortly."
Chief McClendon noted that there has been an increase in violent crimes within the past two weeks, most of these being shootings. He said that OPD relies heavily on those in the community to make reports, which is how he believes they are going to solve this homicide - so if you see something, say something, even if you do so anonymously.
"We are going and we are confronting those shooters," McClendon said. "We are confronting people who are making those purchases of these weapons and putting them in the hands of the wrong people. Those persons should be concerned today because we are coming after them."
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Opelousas Police Department.
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