Star athlete recovering from holiday shooting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2002


LAPLACE – Ryan Perrilloux, 15, is making a quick recovery from a near deadly encounter with a 9mm bullet on Dec. 27.

The youth was struck by a bullet which came within an inch of striking his heart. Nevertheless, he is likely to return to East St. John High School’s football field as its star quarterback this fall.

Sheldon LaFrance III, 24, of 2325 Abundance St., New Orleans, was charged with attempted second-degree murder, and his bond was set at $165,000 by 40th Judicial District Judge J. Sterling Snowdy.

However, Perrilloux’s family is not pushing to have LaFrance prosecuted.

The matter is now in the hands of the district attorney’s office.

Perrilloux, of 604 Bluebird St., LaPlace, said he has learned “to end that joking around.”

He underwent a second, exploratory surgery Thursday at River Parishes Hospital after being shot by a friend of his sister. The bullet tore his diaphragm, punctured both lungs, his stomach and liver before exiting through a dime-sized hole.

According to Capt. Michael Tregre of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ryan’s sister, Kidada Scott, 22, had been out with LaFrance, and the couple returned to LaPlace around 2:15 a.m.

However, upon arriving, the couple spotted what appeared to be a suspicious person lurking outside the residence.

Scott first used her cellular telephone and thought she was talking to Ryan inside the residence, who told her someone had been trying to break in.

Perrilloux related, “I’d be waiting by the door to scare her.”

This time, he concocted a plan to frighten them totally out of their wits.

“They would be extra-scared when I’d jump out on them,” Perrilloux said.

Scott dashed for the door and hammered on it for her brother to let her in. Meanwhile, Perrilloux approached LaFrance at the car, wearing a dark capt and a black leather jacket.

LaFrance fired twice from his 9mm pistol, one of which missed and the other striking Perrilloux in the abdomen.

Perrilloux’s mother, Barbara Breaux, was asleep inside the house then, “I heard shots and screaming. I was just outdone, I can tell you.”

Surprisingly, after the bullet knocked the teen-ager down, he began to get up and take off his shirt to examine his wound, then sat down again. “I saw like a scratch on his right side where it went in, and a hole on his left side,” his mother added. The spent bullet was found nearby.

Perrilloux never lost consciousness.

The family frantically searched for a telephone, not aware that Ryan had a portable extension with him. It was found beneath him where he fell. Only then was the St. John Sheriff’s Office notified of the shooting at 2:37 a.m. and Perrilloux was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Breaux said the family had no hard feelings against LaFrance, as they felt he was acting in self-defense.

“It’s a safe neighborhood,” Perrilloux’s mother insisted. “Everybody knows everybody.”

Former ESJ head football coach, Ronnie Stephens, visited the hospital and commented, “He’s an athlete; he’ll bounce back.” Meanwhile, he advised his former player, “don’t rush anything. You’ve got plenty of time to be an athlete.”