Funeral arrangements have been set for Christon Chaisson of Broussard, who was shot and killed early Saturday as he was walking back to his vehicle in downtown Lafayette.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church at 818 12th St. in Lafayette. Visitation will take place from 7 to 11 a.m.
The tragic shooting of the Broussard man has rocked the community and left friends and family mourning the loss of someone they are calling a hero.
“We are still in shock over this senseless killing,” his aunt Erica Williams said. “Christon was a great guy. Everybody knew how great he was. He would always make you laugh and he really held the family together.”
Chaisson, 31, was returning to his car near the Rosa Parks center after a night out on Friday. According to family members, Chaisson witnessed a woman being beaten by her boyfriend and intervened. Williams said her nephew had two sisters and was not the type to ignore a female being harassed or abused.
According to Lafayette police, Tyler Benoit, 20, of Kaplan allegedly shot Chaisson in the upper body and fled the scene.
Benoit later turned himself in and was booked into Lafayette Parish Correctional Center Saturday on second-degree murder.
Longtime friends of Chaisson and his wife said he was a loving husband and father, who was friendly, hard working and always there for others.
“Everyone that came in contact with him couldn’t help but love him,” said Jennifer Shute. “Christon was a friend that quickly became family. He not only rooted himself in my heart, but my whole family as well.”
Social media has been flooded with condolences and heartfelt messages to Chaisson’s family, his wife, Kelly, and their 3-year old son, Caleb. Chaisson worked at Hogan Architectural Wood Products.
The company posted this statement on its Facebook page:
With a very heavy heart I must inform you that Mr. Christian Chaisson was killed last night in a senseless murder. He was on his own helping stop something horribly wrong, that part does not surprise me. He was a very courageous & considerate man!
As so many know Chris was our General Manager and an absolutely HUGE part of our company and will forever be a part of what we are doing here.
Life can be hard to understand but Chris wasn’t hard to understand at all. He was honest, hardworking, and extremely dedicated to our company but also to his customers and especially his family. Chris had high values, and always did his very best!
I hope everyone can add Chris and his Family to your prayers-
We all love you!!! You will always be a huge part of this company!!
Jodie Moore, a family friend who is close to Chaisson’s sister, Kimberly Hebert, asked the question that so many are asking: How and why could such a thing take place?
“When I heard, I was just like, how does that happen to somebody who is so sweet and willing to help a stranger?” Moore said. “I just remember him as really funny and mellow. He was real protective of his sisters.”
Moore said she has been in contact with Hebert who told her the family is trying to take things one day at a time.
In the meantime, a vigil has been planned to honor Chaisson.
It will take place at7:30 p.m. Thursday in theRosa Parks parking lot, where the shooting allegedly occurred. The public is invited to attend. All are encouraged to wear yellow or red shirts and bring candles to honor what they call “Christon’s Heroic Deed.”
The red shirts are to honor Chaisson’s time at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where, he served as class president.
A Gofundme page has also been set up for Chaisson’s family: https://www.gofundme.com/49hlekw.
Bryn Chapman, a friend who has known Chaisson since the two were babies, said he created the page to help pay for funeral costs.
“He did what he was known to do,” Chapman said. “To help somebody in distress. He was just trying to help somebody and he paid the ultimate price for being a good person. I’m heartbroken.”
“I will miss his presence and his gentle spirit the most,” Williams added. “He had a presence that will be greatly missed. I am praying that justice is done here.”