Another arrest sought after LaPlace shooting

Published 12:08 am Saturday, June 13, 2015

LAPLACE — With one suspect in custody, authorities are working to determine who pulled the trigger after gunshots were reported in LaPlace’s New Era Subdivision.

John Smith

John Smith

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said authorities are pursuing at least one more arrest in the crime, in which a vehicle was struck by gunfire.

Deputies responded at 10:06 p.m. June 5 to the intersection of Van Arpel Drive and Heather Lane after gunshots were heard and reported in the area.

Deputies found a bullet hole in a truck parked in the driveway of a nearby residence, Tregre said in a release. No one was reported injured.

From video captured from parish crime cameras and home surveillance equipment, detectives were able to see a car leaving the immediate area of Van Arpel Drive and Heather Lane at the time of the gunfire.

“With the video from crime cameras, detectives identified the vehicle and subsequently identified the driver of the car as John Smith, 33, of Greenwood Drive in LaPlace,” Tregre said.

“We can’t specifically say at this time he was the shooter, but we know he was there.”

Smith was arrested June 6 and booked with principal to illegal use of a weapon and an outstanding attachment for contempt of court.

As of press time Friday morning, he remained in custody in lieu of a $4,650 bond set by Judge Madeline Jasmine.

Authorities said Smith has been arrested 18 times in St. John the Baptist Parish since February 2001.

Tregre stressed detectives are trying to identify all parties involved in the shooting, adding the investigation has revealed at least one other person was with Smith at the time of the shooting. He said no descriptive information on that suspect is available at this time.

Tregre said authorities have speculations on the motive for the crime, but added that information would not be released at this time. He said investigators are pursuing search warrants for access to information, such as phone records, that may indicate who Smith was with at the time of the shooting.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

Citizens can also submit tips on the Sheriff’s Office website at