LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Just 20 years old, Lance Corporal Daniel Gueringer would survive a seven-month tour in Iraq, to be killed at home while celebrating freedom.
"This young marine did not deserve this to go and serve his country admirably and to come back and think he's back home in the safety of his homeland," said Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon.
Home on leave from Camp LeJeune in North Carolina, Chief Dixon says the young marine was at a Fourth of July Party at 4030 West Prien Lake Road. Investigators say 20-year-old Taylor Ryan Johnson was also at the party without an invite. When asked to leave, a confrontation erupted - that's when police say Johnson called Bryce Perkins and Austin Rousseau.
"A confrontation ensued between this group and the other group and as a result a shot was fired by Bryce Perkins based on the information we know so far. Our victim Daniel Gueringer was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and is an innocent victim. And what we know so far was he was in fact trying to be a peacemaker," said Dixon.
Rousseau and Perkins both face a second degree murder charge. Police say Rousseau allegedly handed Perkins the handgun.
"I want to go ahead and get this out in the open now. Bryce Perkins is the son of a Lake Charles police officer. That has no bearing on this case. I assure you we are leaving no stone unturned," said Dixon.
Also arrested were Derek Peloquin and Greg Weisner - for accessory after the fact and obstruction of justice. Not only would police find the weapon late Monday evening, but they would make a fifth arrest. Taylor Johnson is now charged with inciting a riot and criminal conspiracy to commit second degree murder.
"When you go looking for trouble as these individuals did, who brought this gun. And you find trouble, you are going to be held accountable. Bottom line," said Dixon.
Meanwhile Dixon says he didn't call upon an outside agency to investigate because of Perkins' relationship to the force.
"The subject is an adult and is not a juvenile and if it would have been a juvenile I would have. I think the family of the victim has full confidence that we are giving this 100% effort. I've also talked to Perkins' father who is distraught, but we've discussed it and he understands that we are going to charge his son and the others involved with everything we can legally," explained Dixon.
Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier echoed a similar message and says his office will prosecute to the fullest extent for what he calls a senseless crime.
"A young man serving his country comes back home where he expects to be safe and is met up with his ultimate demise. That's just not going to happen in Calcasieu Parish," said DeRosier.
With the investigation into his death still ongoing, we've learned Lance Corporal Daniel Gueringer was likely headed back overseas, this time to Afghanistan. A tragic end to a man who devoted his life to defending freedom.
Gureninger was pronounced dead at a local hospital Sunday at 11 a.m. We're told he was an organ donor.
Funeral arrangements have been set with visitation starting at Johnson's Funeral Home on Lake Street for Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a rosary at 6:30 p.m. Visitation continues Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. followed by the funeral at 10 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Heaven.
Meanwhile anyone who was at the party with information about this case is asked to call Police at 491-1311. Ask for lead investigator on the case Lecia McCullough.