Friday’s shootout resonates throughout community

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

By David Vitrano

LAPLACE—Although Friday’s police action was mostly confined to the vicinity of the LaPlace Oaks housing complex, its effects were felt throughout a much larger area of LaPlace.

According to State Police, the shooting took place around 11:30 a.m. Within an hour, rumors had begun to spread of a shooting at East St. John High. Those, rumors, of course, turned out to be false.

Around the same time, the emergency room at River Parishes Hospital, where one of the suspects was being treated, was put on lock-down. Outside of the emergency room, residents of LaPlace Oaks gathered, speculating on the nature of the events on Joe Parquet Circle.

During this time, St. Joan of Arc School, located a few blocks from LaPlace Oaks, also was locked down to ensure the safety of its students.

Finally, later that afternoon, a caravan of law enforcement vehicles, including two vans and one Humvee-type armored vehicle, carrying dozens of regular police and SWAT officers, took to the streets of LaPlace, further alarming citizens and blocking West Fifth Street for a period.

By Saturday’s end, all suspects were either captured or killed, but Friday’s events showed that a seemingly isolated incident can have far-reaching effects in smaller towns such as LaPlace.