Suspects sought in Donaldsonville block party shootings

Michael Tortorich
Emergency crews responded Sept. 11 to shootings near Front Street in Donaldsonville. Five victims were rushed to area hospitals.

Gunfire erupted at a block party Sept. 11 near Front Street in Donaldsonville, injuring five people.

Detectives have been following up on several leads regarding the incidents, but no suspects have been identified yet.

Last week, Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan spoke out in condemning the violence. The incidents occurred a week following the Labor Day weekend, which brought extra patrols from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in an effort to deter large gatherings in violation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Blocking roads is illegal, Sullivan said. Social media video shows large crowds and vehicles clogging roadways throughout the area on the night of the shooting. 

It caused a dangerous situation as law enforcement and emergency responders had trouble reaching the shooting victims, Sullivan said.

“It comes down to the safety and well-being of the citizens of Donaldsonville,” he said.

The mayor has been working with deputies and the city council to address the problem, which has come up in the past.

In early 2019, three people were shot at a party with 250 people reportedly in attendance. The incident occurred at what was a dance studio on Hwy. 1 South.

In that shooting, deputies ultimately arrested three suspects. In the most recent shooting, no suspects had been named as of the weekend.

During the City of Donaldsonville bi-weekly Facebook Live update, Sullivan and Captain Darryl Smith took a moment to pray for peace in the city and the five victims.

“We need to come together and be unifed to make this community better,” Sullivan said. “At no time is division good, but especially with all of the events going on around the world, now is not the time for the City of Donaldsonville to be divided.”

“I plead and ask everyone to come together,” he said. “Let’s work out a solution and a plan so we can move forward and make sure the citizens of Donaldsonville continue to feel safe in their own homes.”

The Sheriff’s Office received the first call about 10:50 p.m. in reference to two people shot at the corner of Front and Elizabeth streets, according to APSO spokesperson Allison Hudson.

Some 20 minutes later, deputies were called to a second shooting at the corner of First and Maginnis streets, just a block from the original site.

Three of the victims were airlifted to hospitals in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The victims' ages were 16, 24, 25, 26, and 34. Their names have not been made public.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting scene. Reportedly, a crowd began to gather at Prevost Memorial Hospital, where the five victims were taken initially.

Anyone with information can call the Sheriff’s Office at (225) 621-4636 or text 847411 to an anonymous tip line, or call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7868.