State Police seek tips in fatal hit-and-run that killed northshore tattoo artist

Erin 'Cooter' Gerhard Photo Credit: WWL-TV

HAMMOND, La. (WWL-TV) –  The sign on the door at Hammond City Tattoo Company says a lot with a little.

Family here included tattoo artist Erin ‘Cooter’ Gerhard.

“Nicest guy. Nobody’s ever said a bad word about Cooter ever,” said owner Mike “Tiger” Schroeder, “I don’t know anyone in this town that didn’t love Cooter.”

That love was evident Thursday as friends and family discovered they’re now without him.

Gerhard was killed Wednesday night, yards from the shop, when police say two vehicles hit him while he was skateboarding.

Neither stopped following the crash.

“The only information that we have from witnesses is that a dark-colored pickup truck and a sedan were involved in the crash,” said Louisiana State Police Trooper Dustin Dwight, “We are looking for anyone with any additional information, regardless of how inconsequential they may think it is.”

Gerhard’s mother is incensed.

“I’m so angry, you just can’t believe,” said Janice Hardy, “I think, what kind of person would do that? Two people. Two cars.  What kind of low life person could you be?”

State Police are baffled at seeing drivers leave two fatal crashes in the same area in two weeks, when staying  could result in a simple ticket.

“If you stay on scene, you’re looking at a basic crash investigation,” said Dwight, “Aside from from all of that, just the human factor of rendering aid to somebody involved in a crash.”

Friends and family have joined troopers in their plea to the public for help closing the case.

“Whatever we can do to find these people, lets do it,” said Schroeder.

Witness tips are crucial in this case so if you saw something or heard something in that area Wednesday night around 10 p.m., or if you’ve noticed new damage on a car, similar in description, that you see frequently, call it in to State Police at 985-893-6250.

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