LAPLACE, La. (WGNO) — It was a violent scene in the midst of a mile-long traffic jam late Saturday night on the Bonnet Carré Spillway, when a groom still wearing his wedding day tuxedo shot two victims after an argument with his bride and a male passenger following their nuptials in Kenner, La.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., a multiple-vehicle crash closed I-10 West at mile marker 210 and brought traffic to a standstill with congestion reaching one mile by 11 p.m., according to a tweet from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s official Twitter account.
Meanwhile, at mile marker 211, the argument between the newlyweds and backseat passenger had escalated according to St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre, who told WGNO that the groom and driver, 30-year-old Devin Jose Jones of Alexandria, La., allegedly chased the male passenger on foot, opened fire and shot the victim in the leg.
Sheriff Tregre said a stray bullet went through the rear windshield of another vehicle also stuck in the traffic jam, striking an uninvolved motorist in the hand while he and his two children, ages 14 and 16, were returning home to Lafayette after landing at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
Shortly after striking the passenger, Jones reportedly pursued his bride who had fled the car and had found refuge in an Acadian Ambulance she had flagged down while on its way to the crash scene. While Jones allegedly attempted to enter the ambulance, SJSO deputies received word of the shooting and raced on foot one mile to the scene.
An off-duty SJSO deputy, who was also stuck in traffic after returning home from the Monster Jam event in the Caesars Superdome, overheard the call on his radio and immediately left his vehicle to offer support.
Sheriff Tregre said that the officer, whose name has not been released, was the primary officer in the apprehension of the suspect.
Jones was arrested and charged with the following:
- Two counts of Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property
- Illegal Use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities
- Aggravated Second Degree Battery
- Attempted Second Degree Murder
The victims, whose identities have yet to be revealed, were airlifted to University Medical Center in New Orleans. The intended victim is reportedly still in the hospital while the Lafayette man has been discharged.
I-10 West was closed for more than four hours with traffic congestion reaching more than three miles. St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office received an assist from Troop B of the Louisiana State Police in managing traffic at the crash scene while the investigation was underway.
“Our officers reacted bravely and accurately and took the suspect into custody with minimal personal damage,” Sheriff Tregre told WGNO. “You simply cannot duplicate this kind of scenario in training. It is a testament to the training our young men and women do and I am very proud of each and every one of them.”