Violence in Jennings: Are things getting worse?

by Brandon Richards bio | email

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - This week saw the first fatality in Jennings after 34-year-old man was gunned down in his driveway on Wednesday.

This is the third shooting in Jennings in just the last two weeks.

The latest victim's name was Alan West. West had been shot at just a couple of weeks before Wednesday night's shooting.

A woman who was with West at the time of the shooting tells police she heard the shots but did not see anything.

On south Main Street, Lanether Watson says she wants to know who is responsible for putting her and her family's lives in jeopardy on Monday night after a stray bullet pierced the family's living room window Monday night before coming to a rest on the living room floor.

In fact, many of the recent cases that remain unsolved are that way chiefly because eyewitnesses refuse to cooperate with authorities. Jennings Police Chief Johnny Lassister says most of the witnesses police interview claim to have no knowledge of what happened.

Some residents in Jennings are concerned about their safety since police haven't been able to make arrests in several of these cases.

Private Investigator Kirk Menard says he's concerned that all the recent violence is distracting police from the Jeff Davis Eight serial killings.

"I think it pulls the task force away from that investigation to work on the shootings and the violence," said Menard.

Menard also says he believes people will continue refusing to cooperate with authorities until more of these unsolved crimes are solved.

"They fear for their lives," said Menard.

Menard says he'd like to see more community leaders, especially elected officials, get involved to help make residents feel safer so they can cooperate with authorities in with not only the recent shootings, but with the serial murders investigation as well.

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