UPDATED: 02/06/22 10:00 PM The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s office has identified 19-year-old Damien Joseph Lastrapes Jr. as the victim in an early morning homicide at the Knights of Columbus Hall on LA Highway 104 just outside the Opelousas area.
Authorities say Lastrapes was dropped off at a local hospital around 1:30 a.m. Sunday with a gunshot wound.
He later died.
“For what the neighborhood used to be like to what it is now, you better protect yourself at all times,” Wedrick Guillory said.
Authorities say the investigation revealed two vehicles were shot into and that Lastrapes Jr. was struck by gunfire.
“If there’s a gathering of any kind of people, you can’t go because you don’t know if you’re gonna come alright or not,” said Guillory.
“People don’t care about people no more. If they don’t get their way, hell, they’ll try to hurt you,” he said.
Guillory lives half a mile from the rental hall. He said he did not know what happened, but since he has lived in the area since 1973, the neighborhood used to be quiet. He thinks police should patrol the area more.
“I feel that is not enough patrolling for the amount of people who get involved in this neighborhood,” he said.
“Maybe they’re limited to what they can do. I don’t know that, but this day and time, you need all the patrolling you can get because the crime is getting terrible.”
Along with some other residents, Guillory says gun violence is getting worse.
“I used to attend a lot of concerts and bands playing here and there and stuff which I enjoyed. I don’t go anymore because of the violence, and what else you’re going to do? You better stay home, Guillory said.
To the family who lost their loved one, he says he feels sorry.
“If it were to happen to my family, it would hurt, but a lot of people don’t value a human life. That’s the whole thing in a nutshell. They don’t value life; they are just going to shoot you just to look at you nowadays,” he said.
ORIGINAL: OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – An Opelousas man is dead from an early Sunday morning shooting.
According to St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, the office was notified around 1:30 a.m. that a man was dropped off at a local hospital with a gunshot wound and later died from his injuries.
Investigators found that a group of people were at the KC Hall off of Hwy 104 in the Opelousas area when two vehicles were shot along with the male victim.
The victim was identified as Damien Joseph Lastrapes Jr., 19 of Opelousas. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information on this or any other case is asked to call (337) 948-TIPS or give a tip online at stlandrycrimestoppers.com. All calls will remain anonymous and you could earn up to a $2,500 cash reward. You can also use the P3 app and submit your tips anonymously from your mobile device.