Early in the morning of April 11, 2017, between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., numerous residents of the peaceful community of Mt. Hermon in rural northwest Washington Parish woke to the frightening sound of gunfire as numerous bullets struck their residences. In some instances, the bullets struck within inches of where someone was sleeping.
Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies responded immediately and thoroughly searched the area but were unable to locate the unknown shooters. Detectives took over the case and worked diligently, following numerous leads and interviewing and eliminating several persons who were initial suspects.
The Mt. Hermon community responded with legitimate concerns and Sheriff Randy Seal held a community meeting to answer questions and address the concerns of residents. Sheriff Seal offered a substantial reward and many in the Mt. Hermon community generously contributed to increase the reward fund. Meanwhile, detectives continued to work on the case daily.
Detective Sgt. Jimmy Seals took command of the investigation and painstakingly investigated every possible angle to the senseless shootings. Finally, within the past couple of weeks, the case began to come together and the shooters were identified.
On Friday, September 9, almost five months since the shootings, the Sheriff’s Office arrested three young men and charged them with the crimes. They were placed in the Washington Parish Jail where they remain awaiting a bond hearing early next week.
Arrested were Dakota Gage Tetreau, 19, a resident of Shady Lane in Franklinton, Desmond Harold Warren, 18, a resident of Poplarhead Road in Franklinton, and Bailey Joseph Koon, 17, a resident of Erwin Road in Franklinton. Each is charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault by drive-by shooting, aggravated criminal damage to property and attempted manslaughter.
Firearms used in the shootings have been recovered and the investigation continues, with more arrests possible. Sheriff Randy Seal will hold a press conference on Monday, September 11 at 2:00 p.m. in the Bogalusa substation of the Sheriff’s Office located at 302 Mississippi Avenue. At this time the Sheriff will provide information concerning the arrests and will display the weapons used.
Sheriff Seal commented. “From the moment this occurred, our detectives have worked tirelessly to bring the shooters to justice. Finally, all of the hard work paid off and the shooters are behind bars. I want to extend a special thanks to Detective Sgt. Jimmy Seals who left no stone unturned in his quest to identify the shooters and to all of our detectives who spent many, many hours working on this case. I also thank the good citizens of Mt. Hermon who patiently waited while our detectives sorted out all the details of this matter. Now that the shooters have been identified and jailed, those citizens can sleep a little better tonight.”
Specific information about the charges against Tetreau and Morris can be viewed on the WPSO website, www.wpso.la.gov. Information on Koon will not be displayed due to a website programming feature that does not display information about persons younger than 18. This is a feature that is consistent with the juvenile age in most states and is controlled by the website host.