Montz tragedy should inspire anti-crime stand

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2000

L’Observateur / July 26, 2000

It was a bit disturbing to hear a resident, after the fatal shooting of a storekeeper in Montz, tell television reporters she planned to move in the aftermath of that tragedy. We would like to know – where?Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that violent crime affects every community and there’s no true escape from it. No matter where you go,however safe a community appears, sooner or later, violent crime will follow.

It’s another fact of life that as drugs continue to infect the lives of people, that violent crime will follow in their wake. On the one hand, theaccused man in this instance was once a star running back at Destrehan High School, winning games on his touchdowns on a regular basis back in the early 1990s.

However, his post-high school career took a downturn and, according to family members, once crack cocaine and heroin took their iron grip on his body, it was only a matter of time before death would follow, his or another’s. Danial Perrilloux’s family is now dealing with the heartbreak ofwhat has transpired and what is to come, especially his wife and six children.

Tragedy follows this story from end to end.

On the other hand was a Vietnamese man who exemplied the name of “good neighbor” where he operated a convenience store in Montz. Overnight, afterthe fatal shooting, friends of Luan Minh Nguyen, 43, placed flowers at the doorway of the store, in memory of a man who was more than a storekeeper. He was also a beloved husband, father and friend, workinghard to achieve the American dream of a comfortable life for himself and his family – earning his way from the sweat of his brow.

Neighbors of the store held a candlelight vigil Monday night in memory of their friend, an example of the high regard Nguyen was held in the tiny community.

This incident holds an object lesson for many. Young people and theirparents should take note and steer away from the use of illicit drugs. Nogood can come of it, and more people will be hurt than just themselves.

This incident was compared by Sheriff Wayne L. Jones to that of theshooting death of Deputy Barton Granier in 1993. In that case, a man wenton a similar spree of robbing convenience stores, pursued by deputies in two parishes. The night climaxed in the confrontation where Granier wastrying to capture the suspect and found himself instead slain by a police sidearm snatched by the robber.

We also hope that the community of Montz will take this opportunity – not to scatter out of fear of violent crime invading their normally peaceful village, but rather to draw closer together, to support one another, to comfort one another, and to send a clear signal to the criminal element that they stand united against crime. It does no good to run – there’snowhere to go.

The National Night Out Against Crime, set Aug. 1 in the River Parishes,would be just such a prime occasion for all of us to do the same.


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