Shooting follows prayer rally

May 3, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

Several gunshots were fired after a prayer rally at the Lake Charles Civic Center around 12:45 Thursday. Law enforcement officers were already at the civic center for the prayer rally. They were breaking up a fight and dispersing the crowd, when they saw one of the juveniles leave and fire a weapon. They chased him down on foot and caught him within a few minutes.

Several other people were taken into custody and law officers recovered two handguns and a pellet gun. At least one person has been arrested. The sheriff's office says there may be more arrests. Authorities say all the juveniles involved had attended the prayer rally.

After the shooting, crowds continued to linger and at least eight more fights broke out. Police used pepper ball guns to help break up the crowd. Law officers searched the civic center parking lot and cordoned off the area with crime tape after someone spotted a shell casing under a vehicle.

At least one person with a superficial head injury was taken to a hospital. The injury is said not to be serious.