Man killed; police chief beaten in St. James Parish

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, June 22, 2016

LUTCHER — Authorities in St. James Parish are continuing with investigations following a violent week that saw one man shot and killed and the Lutcher police chief beaten during a street fight, Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. said.

Burnell Anthony Gordon

Burnell Anthony Gordon

At approximately 12:33 a.m. June 15, the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to 2373 N. Courseault St. in Lutcher, discovering a local man was shot and taken to the hospital by a family member.

The victim, Darell Antione Johnson, 19, was pronounced dead at the hospital after medical staff fought to save his life.

Martin said detectives quickly identified the shooting suspect as Burnell Anthony Gordon, 34, arresting him the same day for second degree murder, illegal use of weapons, carrying a firearm by a convicted felon and three counts of aggravated criminal damage to property.

“We have no reason to believe anyone else was involved in the shooting,” Martin said.

Authorities are not releasing the shooting’s suspected motive.

Gordon remains in custody in lieu of a $1 million bond.

In an unrelated case, St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators are sorting through the fallout of a street brawl June 14 the resulted in the assault of a law enforcement officer.

“We got a call there was a large fight on Caruso Street in Lutcher; Chief of Police of Lutcher Dwan Bowser was already on the scene calling for backup,” Martin said. “The closest units I had in the area flooded to the area.”

Martin said responding deputies discovered “a pretty serious fight” and the police chief in the middle of it.

“In the process, they were really just beating him up and disarming him, too,” Martin said. “He took a pretty serious beating. When my guys got there, (the crowd) started scrambling. We did the best we could to identify who was involved in the fight. One of the people who ran, my deputy saw him striking the chief from behind. The female (arrested,) the chief places her punching him in the face during the fight.”

Martin said assailants were able to take the chief’s radio, handcuffs and Taser, but added Bowser held onto his firearm.

“They were never able to get his gun out of his holster, but he was overpowered by the crowd,” Martin said, adding he could not say how many people were involved.

A message left with Lutcher police seeking comment was not returned.

According to Martin, “street talk” indicates there was a video made of the assault.

“We have not seen it,” Martin said. “If we identify something that is solid, there may be more arrests.”

Authorities have made two arrests.

Jada Benn, 23, of Lutcher is charged with disturbing the peace, battery of a police officer, disarming of a police officer, criminal damage to property, simple battery and resisting a police officer with force or violence. Jada is being held in lieu of a $16,600 bond.

Jarren Benn, 22, of Convent, is charged with battery of a police officer, probation violation, resisting a police officer with force or violence, criminal damage to property, disturbing the peace and disarming of a police officer. Jarren is being held lieu of a $16,300 bond.