Caddo official recounts what he saw, heard when deadly gunfire erupted on Millicent Way
Kid who ran up to his Tahoe “... had blood coming off from his face. He said ‘I been hit! I been hit!’”
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — A Caddo elected official says he was picking up his children at a Shreveport movie theater when he heard the gunfire that authorities later said took the life of 13-year-old Kelvonte Daigre.
“We were going to pick up our kids from the Tinseltown like we normally do and drove up to the front of the movie theater like we normally do,” District 10 Caddo Commissioner Mario Chavez explained.
“And all of the sudden, we heard an eruption of gunshots toward the rear of the parking lot of Tinseltown.” That’s a movie theater in the 8400 block of Millicent Way.
Police released a statement Tuesday, Sept. 7 saying the gunfire in the 8300 block of Millicent Way occurred just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4. Officers found two gunshot victims there and two more near the 7400 block of Youree Drive. Authorities also said that a passenger in a handicapped-accessible van was wounded by shrapnel.
Chavez told KSLA News 12 that he then saw people running soon after the gunfire erupted.
“As soon as we started leaving, that’s when we saw some people running onto Millicent toward the hospital,” the Shreveport resident said. “And I saw some police officers, and they were jetting to the rear of the parking lot. And I stopped my vehicle and I told one of the cops to look, I see someone running that way (who) could be a suspect, could be a victim.”
The officer quickly went to check on them, Chavez said.
“And when we went onto Millicent and hung a right, we had a kid run up to us. And I think the kid thought we were police officers because we were driving a white Tahoe.
“And he had blood coming off from his face. He said ‘I been hit! I been hit!’”
Chavez said he put his SUV in park, jumped out and pointed the wounded youth toward the officer who was going to check on the person that Chavez earlier had seen running.
“I said ‘Run over there, I’ll meet you there’.”
The commissioner said he went across Millicent and asked the police officer to check on the wounded person who had run up to his Tahoe.
“And soon as we were doing that, another eruption of gunshots set off over there by the Walmart on Youree Drive.”
Chavez said all he could think about then was his family’s safety. “I told the officer ‘Look, I got to get out of here.’
“I was in combat in the military, so I’m used to stuff like that. But my family is not, so we got out of there really quick.”
Chavez said his wife took it hard after witnessing so much in a matter of minutes.
And “this is something that kids at 13 years old who are just going to hang out with their friends on Saturday night shouldn’t have to deal with.”
He also said his heart goes out to Daigre’s family and knows they are grieving.
“It’s unfortunate. A kid, that 13-year-old who lost his life, that could have been my son.”
Chavez also praised officers, noting that they responded quickly Saturday night even though the city’s Police Department is short-staffed.
“The minute the gunshots started going off, I saw visually the cop car at the rear of Tinseltown taking off to go in the direction that the kids were running. And another one pulled up on the scene; it had to be 30 seconds.
“So they are out there and they are boots on the ground. And I’m so thankful for that.”
Chavez is hopeful the Police Department will get the financial support it needs.
“I think that the funding will get passed from the city. I think the police officers are going to get the funding that they need and they deserve.”
Meantime, Chavez said he intends to visit a relative in California soon. And while there, he said, he plans to meet with leaders in Los Angeles to get their advice on how Shreveport can get a grip on crime.
“I’m going to go and sit down with the police chief because I know they are riddled with a crime in LA. ‘So what do you guys do to combat this?’
“Because at the end of the day, we can’t just sit around and talk to each other. We have to come up with ideas on how to help our community.”
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