A memorial service held in Bogalusa, Louisiana, believed to be held for Dominique James, a man recently found murdered in the woods, turned violent on Saturday night. A shooting interrupted the service, injuring 13 people and leaving at least one in critical condition, according to The Associated Press.
James was missing for several days before law enforcement officials in a helicopter discovered his truck in a wooded area. His body was still inside. He was last heard from on May 2 when he was planning to travel to an unknown location to pick up an all-terrain vehicle.
Fox News reported that while James was last seen on May 2, he was not reported missing until May 6.
The Associated Press stated that police had not been able to interview all 150 mourners in attendance at the memorial service, as there were so many wounded people at the event that the scene quickly became too busy. Complicating matters was the fact that many of the victims were escorted to different hospitals.
Authorities tended to several of the victims while trying to secure the scene. Despite the large assembly, no eyewitnesses have yet come forward with any information about the crime or potential suspects.
“The best we can tell is a car drove by and shots were fired and it was pure chaos from there,” Bogalusa Police Maj. Troy Tervalon told the outlet.
According to Fox News, officers from several neighboring counties were called in for assistance, including the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana Fire Marshall’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Varnado Police Department, Bogalusa Fire Department, and Northshore EMS.
Considering the current lockdown measures being taken to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, James’ family asked for special permission to hold a “regular memorial service” for him. Bogalusa authorities denied their request, so it would appear that they chose to host an outdoor gathering to accommodate the large crowd.
The Bogalusa Police Department issued an official statement via their Facebook page on Sunday afternoon. Tervalon said that the police first began to receive calls of gunfire being heard near Martin Luther King Drive and East 4th Street around 9:12 p.m. on Saturday night.
No arrests have yet been made in relation to the shooting, or in the investigation surrounding James’ death. The Associated Press asserted that Tervalon was reluctant to go into more detail on the case, but did verify that it was being looked at as a homicide.