MT. HERMON - Dozens of shots fired at multiple homes where families were sleeping has left a Washington Parish community stunned and upset.
Deputies say frantic calls started coming in around 3:30 Tuesday morning along Sunny Hill Road, Pleasant Hill Road and Shelby Booty Road, stretching more than a mile-and-a-half of residential properties and farms.
"It was just like, 'pow pow pow pow,'" recalled JoAnn Trotter, "I roll out of bed, hit the floor. I come in here and that window was out."
Around the busted window in Trotter's front door are four bullet holes. Above her kitchen sink, there are three more.
"Very scary," she said, "Never would I have thought there'd have been a drive-by in Mt. Hermon."
Trotter's experience happened minutes after Marcus Hale's. His home is half-a-mile away.
"It was a loud noise," he said, "Once I woke up I could tell it was gunshots. Several in a row. That's when my wife discovered the bullet hole in the wall."
A bullet came in through their siding just feet away from where one of their sons had fallen asleep on the couch. His brother-in-law, who lives a few houses down, found the passenger windows of both of his trucks shattered.
"It's beyond me," said Hale, "I have no clue why anybody would do that to us. We've never had any type problem like that before."
In several of these instances, some of the bullet holes were found near children's bedrooms. At one particular home, when a little boy heard the gun shots, he looked out the window and saw a white pick up truck passing by with a man standing in the bed pointing a gun. Deputies say another homeowner was able to shoot back at the truck. No one was injured.
In total, the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office has tallied damage to 13 homes and nine vehicles. But the count continues to rise, along with anger among residents.
"It's just sad for our community because we've got hard working people," said Michael Hughes, "Our people work and then you've got these hoodlums, or these people out there, going around shooting up things like this."
That anger is quickly converting to awareness and togetherness to keep this quiet, rural area, just that.
If you have any information that can help solve this crime, or if you find out that your home or car was targeted, call the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office at 985-661-2024.