Catholic deacon shot and killed while visiting parents in Houma

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 6:21 PM

Thanh Truong / Eyewitness News
Email: ttruong@wwltv.com | Twitter: @thanh412

HOUMA, La. -- Police in Houma are searching for a suspect who shot and killed a deacon Sunday afternoon.

Police say a 17-year-old homeless boy, Leron Calloway, who police believe is armed and dangerous, is a person of interest in the case. He's wanted for questioning in the shooting death of Connely Duplantis, a Catholic deacon who, shortly after giving out communion at Annunziata Church, was gunned down at his parent's house.

"I just saw a person pass, and then I heard 'Boom!'"

That's Drussela Duplantis describing the moments leading up to her son Duplantis getting shot right outside her kitchen door Sunday.

"By the time I came there he was stretched out on the cement, blood all over the place. I washed his face, I cleaned his glasses, he just opened his eyes then closed it back."

Police say the shooting happened in broad daylight. Around 1 p.m., the 66-year-old Duplantis had just finished lunch with his parents, and was putting his dog into his van, when several suspects came up from behind.

"As we are gathering information in the investigation right now it appears to be robbery," said Houma Police Department Chief Todd Duplantis.

Ordained a deacon in 2006, Duplantis worked closely with the Catholic church, spending time ministering to youth in trouble or in jail.

"It is a terrible thing that after you spend an entire life serving others all of a sudden his life taken, senselessly," said Louis Aguirre, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

Before his dedication to the church, Duplantis served in the Navy. Married for four decades, Duplantis and his wife were about to celebrate their 42nd anniversary.

Just days before Thanksgiving, so many celebrations are now silenced. "My husband was everything to me, but God chose something else," said Connely's wife, Yvonne Duplantis. Houma police are looking for 17-year-old Leron Calloway, who, according to police, led them on foot chase. He is the lone person of interest.

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