Gunfire erupts at Louisiana memorial service, leaving 13 injured

A crowd of people who gathered to mourn a slain Louisiana man were attacked in a mass shooting on Saturday night.

According to Fox News, 13 people were shot and one was critically injured in the attack on a group of mourners in Bogalusa. Nobody was killed in the incident, and local authorities indicate that no eyewitnesses have yet come forward.

Memorial gathering turns violent

The shooting was reported to the local police around 9 p.m.

Authorities arrived to find an “extremely large” crowd of people at Martin Luther King Drive and East 4th Street, with several people injured from gunshots, including one critically, according to the Bogalusa Police Department.

As reports, the terrifying assault unfolded at a memorial service for 29-year-old Dominique Audrell James, who was recently found dead in a wooded area, according to the Associated Press. James’ death is believed to be the result of a homicide.

Police sources described a scene of “pure chaos,” but little else is known about who was behind the drive-by attack or why it happened.

“The best we can tell is a car drove by and shots were fired and it was pure chaos from there,” Bogalusa Police Maj. Troy Tervalon told the AP, according to ABC News.

Investigation underway

The impromptu memorial gathering took place after a James family request for a more conventional service was shot down by authorities because of a stay-at-home order, according to the New York Times.

James was reported missing on May 6, days after he was “believed to have been heading to an unknown location to pick up a four-wheeler,” local police said, according to Fox News. Days later, a police helicopter discovered his body in a wooded area miles outside of Bogalusa. Investigations into the homicide and the mass shooting are underway, and there have been no arrests to date in either case.

At a press conference Monday morning, Bogalusa Police Department Maj. Wendell O’Berry said that a crowd of more than 800 people gathered on Saturday evening and that multiple shooters are suspected in the incident. O’Berry went on to reprimand the mourners for gathering without a permit during he coronavirus pandemic, and he called on witnesses to step forward immediately.

According to New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL-TV, Washington Parrish Sheriff Randy Seal also gave an impassioned appeal to citizens to cooperate with police. “We need to walk to the police and we need to talk to the police.”

“Satan has taken over Bogalusa,” Seal continued.  “And it’s time that we take it back.”

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