OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — A 46-year-old man and a four-year-old girl were killed in an Opelousas shooting last week. Family members are speaking out about the shooting and pleading for violence to end.
Opelousas Police said Alton James Thomas, 46, and Rakatelyn Janae Colla, 4, were killed when two men entered the apartment they were in and shot both with an AR-15 rifle.
The Tomas family remembered him and another family lost to gun violence Friday evening with a balloon release.
“I’m hurt. That was two of my favorite cousins, and they’re going to be missed. They’re really going to be missed,” Thomas’ cousin, Hilda Levier, said.
She said as she thinks of her cousins, she remembers her favorite times with them and their families.
“Just for the simple fact that we won’t be able to see them anymore, laughing, clowning, and dancing. It’s hurt,” Levier added.
“It’s hurt. They took him from us. It was a senseless crime that could have been avoided,” another cousin, Tiffany Thomas, said.
She says there’s too much violence and wants the hatred to stop.
“He’s not here to speak, but we’re going to speak for him. That’s why we made the shirts, stop the gun violence. It needs to stop. Innocent souls lost,” Thomas said.
“It needs to stop. They need to do better. Law enforcement also needs to do better,” she added.
Thomas says losing not one but two cousins to gun violence feels like a bad dream she can’t wake up from.
“We still can’t shake it. We still can’t accept the fact that he’s gone or that he’s gone,” she said.
The family of Alton Thomas says with three people now in custody for his murder, they are hoping justice will be served.