Two dead in Gramercy after attempted theft

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 22, 2008


Staff Reporter

GRAMERCY — A Paulina man and a Garyville man were shot and killed in St. James Parish Thursday night following an attempted armed robbery outside of a convenience store in Gramercy, said St. James Sheriff Willy Martin.

Martin said Danny Russell of Paulina was held up at gunpoint by Herbert Elderon Johnson, a resident of Garyville, after Russell had cashed a check at the Stump’s Shell Convenience Store, located at 220 E. Airline Hwy. in Gramercy.

Martin said there was an exchange of gunfire and both men suffered fatal injuries, but he could not disclose where the men were shot. He said Russell was transported to St. James Parish Hospital in Lutcher and was pronounced dead. Martin said Johnson died at the scene.

According to a report on the incident, around 7 p.m. Thursday Russell was walking toward his car when Johnson, who proceeded to try and take an undisclosed amount of cash from Russell at gunpoint, approached him. There was an exchange of gunfire and both men were shot.

Martin said Russell made it back into the store and told employees he was shot before he fell to the ground. Martin said Johnson fled the scene but was found in a field behind the store.

Martin said investigators are not sure if Johnson was acting alone. He said there might have been other accomplices involved in the robbery. Martin said the investigation is a joint operation between the St. James Sheriff’s Office and the Gramercy Police Department, who arrived on the scene first.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact the St. James Sheriff’ Office at 225-562-2374 or the Gramercy Police Department at 225-562-2200.