Multiple teenagers were seriously injured early Monday morning after shots were fired during a graduation party on U.S. 90, authorities said.
"It was a private graduation party with about 200 juveniles, ranging from 15 to 18 years of age, and they were unsupervised," Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. "The party was going on, loud music was being played and then gunfire erupted."
He said several shell casings were found at the scene that were shot from various types of weapons with multiple calibers involved.
"We're lucky some weren't trampled on during the chaos of people trying to get out of the way," he said. "Seven were hospitalized with injuries and five of those are from gunshot wounds."
Mancuso said two 15-year-old females suffered non-life threatening injuries from gunshot wounds — one to the leg and one to the buttocks.
"Three other females, ages 15, 16 and 17, were grazed by bullets and a 15-year-old female and 18-year-old male suffered minor injuries during the panic that ensued after the shooting began."
Mancuso said the party was being held just after midnight at a business at 6780 U.S. 90 East that is typically available for rent, though the person who handles the leasing for the facility had no knowledge of the party and did not authorize it.
Mancuso said an arrest is pending for Devin L. Levier, 17, 1236 S. Railroad Ave., who was shot in the abdomen.
"Levier has been hospitalized with major injuries, but they're not life-threatening at this time," Mancuso said. "Upon his release from the hospital, he will be arrested for multiple charges including illegal use of a weapon, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile, aggravated second-degree battery and aggravated assault with a firearm."
Judge Sharon Wilson has set his bond at $70,000.
Mancuso said Mary M. Brignac, 23, 2004 5th St. — who brought Levier to the hospital — was charged with possession of a stolen firearm after deputies searched her car.
Wilson has set her bond at $7,000.
Mancuso said additional arrests are "inevitable."
"What upsets me is there were no supervision, and it is possible there will be some adults arrested in the future," he said. "It's important that people who are having parties and trying to set up something for their teenagers to enjoy their senior year have supervision. These kids were all under 21 and unless they were with their parents, they're not allowed to drink. If you're allowing alcohol or drugs at these parties, then you're participating in criminal activity and you can be subject to arrest, too."
Mancuso said detectives are asking the public's help in identifying two other men seen in video surveillance. Anyone with information is asked to call 491-3605.
"We're lucky we don't have more dead bodies around, to be honest with you," Mancuso said. "This could have been much more tragic than it is already. These are some young kids and for them to be engaged in such violent activity already, it's really disturbing to me."