Eunice police working with community to stop crime

EUNICE, La. (KLFY) – According to Eunice Police, the community isn’t cooperating during investigations, out of fear of retaliation.

This comes after 17-year-old Jamie Ned shot three people Tuesday night, including a 7-year-old child.

Eunice Police Chief Randy Fontenot said neighbors and officers have to work together in order to prevent shootings, like Tuesday night’s shooting, from happening again.

“I understand your fear, but now you’re living in constant fear in your neighborhood because this is continuing to go on. It’s not stopping,” Fontenot said.

Neighbors met with police Wednesday night as a way to take back the community.

“I think what we really need in some areas are like a watch, a city watch. Everybody needs to take part if they see something they need to report it. Everybody doesn’t want to get involved because of retaliation,” James R. Edwards said, a Eunice resident.

Chief Fontenot said he’s had this meeting planned for two weeks but he feels it’s a day late because of the shooting Tuesday night.

He said neighbors are quick to tell reporters what they saw but aren’t so quick to tell police.

“When we get to a scene in your neighborhood, tell us what you saw who you seen doing it so we can make that arrest and get these people off the street. If they know they can get away with it they’re going to continue doing it,” Fontenot said.

Eunice resident James R. Edwards said his church is near South Mallet and Minerva Street, where the second shooting occurred Tuesday night, wounding two adults.

Edwards said his church has been there for 34 years and said it’s not a bad area.

“Everybody basically knows everybody. The thing is I’m sure they don’t want to force out their opinion about someone’s child or something that is going on until it actually comes up in the public,” Edwards said.

Chief Fontenot’s main message to the community Wednesday night was it’s not retaliation people have to worry about. It’s the next shooting.

“I understand the fear of retaliation. I understand that. But by not talking to us, you still have to deal with the stray bullets flying around your neighborhood. They’re going to get you, your children or your grandchildren”

Chief Fontenot said extra officers are coming in tonight from the sheriff’s department. He said police are ready if there is retaliation from Tuesday night’s shooting and they will be doing their best to keep the streets safe.

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