Abbeville Council members share concerns with recent shooting deaths in city
Frustration and concern.
Those are the thoughts shared by each member of the Abbeville City Council Tuesday night in regard to recent shootings in the city that have left two people dead.
The council held its regular meeting at the Rec Center building at A.A. Comeaux Park. Each council member used his or her comment time during the meeting to address the violence.
“People are dying,” Councilman Francis Touchet Jr. said. “We’ve got to do something about this.”
A shooting on April 2 claimed the life of 73-year-old Emmitt Perry of Abbeville. On Sunday, a shooting at the 400 block of Dutel Street left James Jerome Darby, 29, dead. Investigations into both shooting deaths are ongoing by the Abbeville Police Department. Police also responded to a shooting Tuesday evening near the corner of Greene Street and IJ Joiner Street. No injuries had been reported from that incident.
Touchet asked if there is more the council can do to help.
“There’s got to be something we can do,” Touchet said. “If it’s resources, let’s get resources.
“We need to do whatever we need to do. People’s lives are being lost.”
Abbeville Chief of Police William Spearman could not attend Tuesday’s meeting. Mayor Mark Piazza said he will meet with the chief to see what may be needed.
“I have been communicating with him,” Piazza said.
Councilman Francis Plaisance said Tuesday that he is in favor of finding whatever is needed as he is “fed up” with violence.
“Frankly, I am pretty sick and tired of all of this stuff,” Plaisance said. “There are people who are frightened.
“I don’t know what the answer is, but something has to be done.”
Councilwoman Roslyn White said that violence is unacceptable.
“We as a city need to be mad about what they are doing,” White said.
White stressed that it is not only up to law enforcement officials to find solutions.
“It is going to take police,” White said, “but it is also going to take every person to not be scared to come forward if they see something. I know the chief and his department are working on it.
“Anything we all can do to help the crime problem needs to be addressed.”
Anyone with information on a crime can contact the Abbeville Police Department through the “Tips” line at 892-6777. All callers may remain anonymous. Citizens can also send anonymous tips to the Abbeville Police Department through the Tip411 system at the department’s Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/AbbevillePolice(link is external) Department/, the official web page at www.abbevillepd.com(link is external) by clicking on the “Submit a Tip” link provided or through the official Abbeville Police Department app.
“We have some outstanding law enforcement officers in our city,” Councilman Brady Broussard Jr. said. “The public has given us Marshal (Jeremiah) Bolden, Chief Spearman and Sheriff (Michael) Couvillon. We have State Police who live in Abbeville. You can have all these things, but the public has to be interested in solving theses things.
“Law enforcement cannot do it alone.”
For Councilwoman Terry Broussard, an instance of a mother being left alone because her son is a victim of a shooting is too much to ignore.
“I talk to people in my district every day,” Broussard said. “People are scared and families are hurting. We need to somehow send a message that we want to take back our city.
“I have talked to too many families who have lost a loved one.”