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Identities of victims in fatal Eunice shooting released

Chief Fontenot says this shooting could be related to others in the same week.
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Posted at 4:15 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 23:20:50-04

EUNICE, La. — Police have released the names of the two people killed in a shooting Wednesday night.

Chris Jones, 58, and Marshall Weston III, 17, were killed in the shooting at the intersection of E. Laurel Avenue and Nimitz Street in Eunice, according to Chief Randy Fontenot.

Police say they received a telephone call from the Acadian Medical Center about a gunshot victim being dropped off at the door to the emergency room. The passengers in a black or dark-colored pickup truck had placed the victim at the door, banged on the door, and then fled from the hospital. The victim died from his injuries.

The other victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.

Two people of interest were apprehended and detained for questioning, police say. Others are being sought.

The Eunice City Marshal's Office, St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office, Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office, and Mamou Police Department all assisted in the search for the suspects.

This investigation is ongoing and Eunice Police are asking citizens to please report shooting incidents.

"We need the help of the community if we are going to stop this senseless and deadly activity," said Chief Fontenot.

The EPD chief also says the issue of youth violence in Eunice can be traced back to state and federal laws being changed to keep kids out of the correctional system.

“Now we’ve got the laws changed where a 17-year-old are kids so we can keep them out of the system because we don’t want to keep our jails... We don’t want to be known as the state with the highest incarceration rate in the nation,” he said.

He also said the majority of crimes in Eunice are done by young people.

“Most of the crimes we have is juvenile crime,” said Chief Fontenot. “The violent crimes are mostly juveniles or young adults. When I say, young adults... In their early 20s and younger.”

According to him, the local government is doing the best it can to hold people accountable. Meanwhile, he believes state and federal laws need to be tightened up.

“Whenever you start letting people out of prison and refuse to send them to prison and make it easier for them to stay out of prison, we end up with problems like this,” he said. “The government and our society have created this problem.”

Police believe the Wednesday night shooting has a history that started in the Ville Platte area. The chief tells me it all started over words and Facebook posts.

He says the crimes that the city has seen – especially those done by juveniles are simply childish and senseless.

The chief acknowledges the fear that people feel of speaking out, but he urges people to say something if they know something.

Residents can call the Eunice Police Department with information at (337) 457-2626 or Crime Stoppers at (337) 948-TIPS. Tips can also be reported on the mobile app at P3tips.com.

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