Bogalusa police seek 3 ‘persons of interest’ in football stadium shooting; slain teen identified

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2022 at 6:45 AM CDT
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BOGALUSA, La. (WVUE) - The 15-year-old fatally shot Friday night in the stadium parking lot during Bogalusa High School’s homecoming football game was identified Monday (Oct. 17) as a known juvenile offender.

Bogalusa Police chief Kendall Bullen said investigators believe 15-20 shots were fired between the teen and a few others. Bullen said his responding officers found Jerry Smith lying on the ground with a gunshot wound.

“EMS rolled in and brought him to the hospital just a block away, but he was pronounced dead when they got there,” Bullen said. “The 15-year-old is from Covington.”

Mayor Wendy Perrett was among those attending the homecoming game at her alma mater when the gun battle erupted.

“We were having a great time, and we had some knuckleheads outside of the stadium ruin it for us all,” Perrett said.

Now, police are hoping surveillance video taken just minutes before the shooting will drum up leads for investigators. Bullen asked for the public’s help in identifying three people seen in the video, whom he described as “persons of interest” in the case.

Bullen said Smith -- the slain teen -- was one of those involved in the gun battle.

“The 15-year-old definitely fired a couple of rounds,” Bullen said. “He had a gun in his hand when police arrived.

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Bullen said it’s possible that Smith fired first, but more investigation is needed to determine the sequence of events. Bullen said the teen was no stranger to his officers.

“Maybe a week prior to this shooting, (Smith) was a suspect in a shooting that occurred in the housing projects here in Bogalusa,” Bullen said.

The chief said there were multiple warrants out for Smith’s arrest.

Mayor Perrett said her community is fed up with the gun violence that has spread across the city since the spring.

“I’m disgusted that these individuals came into this city, uninvited, and created havoc once again,” Perrett.

“Crime takes place everywhere. But at the same token, we don’t need you here, so please stay away.”

Bullen said Friday’s homicide was the seventh this year in a town that has averaged only two annually. And on Sunday night, he said his officers answered five calls for reports of gunshots fired.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “We deal with the same people over and over again. We are seeing more and more guns on the streets. I’ve created a violent crime task force, which has put a lot of these criminals in jail.”

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