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2 shot & killed in separate St. John shootings over violent 3-hour stretch

LAPLACE — Two St. John the Baptist Parish neighborhoods are reeling today following a violent overnight stretch of three hours that saw two people shot and killed in what police are describing as unrelated acts of violence.

St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Cambridge subdivision in LaPlace at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in reference to multiple gunshots fired in the area. Upon arrival, officers discovered a man on the sidewalk at the intersection of Medford and Williamsburg drives.

The victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner’s office.

Sheriff Mike Tregre said the victim’s identity is unknown, noting he had no identification on him when police arrived.

“We don’t have any evidence of a robbery,” Tregre said at 11 a.m. Wednesday. “Autopsies are being conducted as we speak.”

Police are reviewing their crime camera network and working with local residents to investigate anything else that might have been recorded.

“We are actively working it; my guys have been out all night,” Tregre said. “People are trying to help us.”

Reserve shooting

Deputies responded to the 100 block of West 17th in Reserve at 1 a.m. today in reference to gunshots heard in the area.

Upon arrival, officers discovered a female subject, identified as 47-year-old Rechelle Hotard, unresponsive on the ground.

Hotard sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner’s office.

“She was outside in the yard of the residence where she lives at,” Tregre said.

Family members said Hotard owned the home where she was killed.

Police said no one was at the residence besides the victim when they arrived.

According to Tregre, Reserve neighbors have been “very helpful.”

“We are chasing down any video surveillance and knocking on doors,” Tregre said. “Two teams are out. We’re doing a hard canvass. We plan on solving both of them.”

Detectives do not believe the two homicides are related and further noted it is not believed this week’s fatal shootings are linked to the death of Ashton Fleming, a 29-year-old Reserve man discovered Thursday afternoon in his home with multiple gunshot wounds.

Anyone with information about the killings is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111, the TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS, Criminal Investigations Division at 985-359-8775 or dispatch at 985-652-6338.