Calcasieu Parish Coroner office investigator Charlie Hunter and Lake Charles Police detectives and crime scene officials walk the body out of the North Cherry Street home Thursday afternoon. (Brad Puckett / American Press)
City police responded to a fatal shooting Thursday on North Cherry Street in Lake Charles. (Brad Puckett / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, June 15, 2012 1:31 PM
Residents in the 600 block of North Cherry Street rarely see or hear about violence, so they were surprised to learn Thursday afternoon that both a man and woman had been shot in a home at 611 N. Cherry St.
Police said 23-year-old Shane Landry died at the scene. The American Press learned that a woman was taken to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.
Evelyn Hawkins, a friend of the man’s family, said she called police after walking into the house and finding the victims. Earlier in the morning, Hawkins took the man’s grandmother on errands.
The grandmother, the sister of the female victim, lived with the victims in the rental home.
“Two grandchildren (toddlers) were in the house. They ran next door and told somebody a woman was on the floor,” Hawkins told the American Press. “We were contacted and drove to the house and went inside.”
Hawkins called 911 to ask for assistance after checking the man’s body for a pulse. “I felt him. His body was cold. That was around 11:15 a.m.,” Hawkins said.
City police detectives, Special Response Team members and crime scene technicians, along with Calcasieu Coroner’s Office personnel, descended on the home minutes later.
As neighbors made their way home for the evening, they were shocked to see police units parked along the street and yellow tape surrounding the home.
Anne Lede has lived across the street from the crime scene for 30 years. She said the shooting is not the norm for the area. “We can’t have this kind of stuff. It is quiet here. This has me upset,” she said.
Lede said that in recent days certain behavior among visitors to the home gave her cause for concern. On Wednesday she noticed a number of young adults using profane language and acting aggressively.
“I just felt like this was not going to work,” she said.
This was the second killing on North Cherry this year. In March, one man was killed in a multiple-victim shooting at 210 N. Cherry St.
One high-ranking police official said the neighborhood should not be branded as dangerous because of the two violent crimes.
“The majority of people who live on this street are retired teachers and plant workers. Crime happens, and when it does we will be proactive,” said Deputy Chief Thomas Bell.
The street lies within the Police Department’s Beat 14, which is bordered by North Prater Street, Interstate 10 and two waterways. Beat 14 had 924 overall crimes reported in 2011 and zero murders.
According to police statistics, Beat 14 had the fifth-highest number of offenses among the city’s 19 beats.