NewsSt. Landry Parish


Opelousas residents not allowed home hours after lengthy standoff

A father trying to feed his baby had to park across the street, and walk home.
Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 19:16:50-05

OPELOUSAS, La. — It was a long night for residents of The Downs apartment complex in Opelousas.

Some neighbors couldn’t get inside their homes until about 3 a.m. after a standoff between the U.S. marshals and a fugitive, Gerald Washington from Texas.

Washington was wanted by the U.S. Marshal's Office in connection with two homicide investigations in Harris County.

According to KTRK, Washington was charged in October 2018 with murder and two aggravated assaults stemming from a shooting in October 2017. In that incident Washington allegedly got into a car and shot three women killing one.

The Opleousas Police Department says that Gerald Washington was taken into custody overnight by the U.S. Marshal's Office.

Next-door neighbors tell us, it was impossible to come home last night after a phone call from the apartment manager.

“They say, ‘hey, don’t come back right now, don’t come back until we call you.’,” said Elder Ascona. “’There are police at your apartment right now, and the U.S. marshal will be walking into your apartment’.”

Then, they got another call. They heard that the situation had worsened.

“They said, ‘it’s still going, and he actually has people he’s holding hostage’,” said Elder Rogers, who lived next door to where Washington was hiding out.

They couldn’t come home, and neither could Jamal Chevis. He is the parent of a toddler; his baby’s food was inside his apartment. Meanwhile, police told he couldn’t come back in.

“Her bottle in the house, her formula, her milk, all that, so we’re trying to get in,” said Chevis. “The cops tell us ‘you can’t go in, they’re handling business,’ but I’m like ‘what’s the protocol?... How long is this going to take?’ they’ve been here some hours.”

He says he had to get home for his little girl to stop crying.

To get home, Chevis parked his car across the street to his home and walked into the building complex.

When he got back home from the game he had to attend, he said nothing had changed.

“I pull back up, there’s still a standoff, there’s SWAT team in the back,” said Chevis. “I only see this on TV… it’s crazy.”

Then, a sudden explosion. Chevis says it could’ve woken up everybody.

“Then you hear a big boom, so if you were asleep, you woke up,” said Chevis. “It wasn’t no little boom.”

Washington is now behind bars, waiting to be sent to Texas.

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