There are still questions surrounding the violent actions of 38-year-old Ben Edward Freeman, the man police say Thursday night went on a shooting spree killing his current wife, Denise Freeman, the mother of his ex-wife, and a former co-worker before taking his own life on the side of the road.
The news of this tragedy could only be described in one word by Rita Bonvillain. "Devastated,” she said. “Yeah, I think we were all in shock.”
Court records show Freeman had disturbing past with bouts of domestic violence and erratic behavior.
According to records, Freeman had been dealing with a nasty divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife, Jeanne Gouaux, the daughter of Lafourche Parish Councilman Phillip Gouaux. Susan “Pixie” Gouaux, Jeanne's mother, was killed in the rampage. Councilman Gouaux and his daughter Andrea were wounded.
Court records obtained by our partners at the New Orleans Advocate show Jeanne Gouaux filed for divorce in May 2011, a month after Freeman resigned from his work as a nurse at St. Anne Ochsner Hospital.
Milton Bourgeois, the CEO of the hospital was Freeman's second victim. As to why he was a target still lingers with staff, a spokesperson says the two knew of each other but didn't work close together.
David Gaines, of Ochsner Hospital, said, "It wasn't a direct report. They didn't work together on a day-to-day basis or come in contact as he worked in the emergency area primarily."
Records show Freeman owed more than $20,000 in child support and last year had two restraining orders filed against him. The earliest was in November 2013.
Jeanne Gouaux told the courts Freeman would send dozens of harrassing text messages, sometimes 30 in one day.
Freeman was a accused of making threats towards the family and eventually was charged. He pleaded guilty to telephone harrassment in October 2013.
According to the the Lafourche’s Parish Sheriff's Office the survivors of the shooting, Councilman Phillip Gouaux, his daughter Jeanne Gouaux, and Ann Bourgeois, the wife of Milton Bourgeios, are listed in stable condition.
Read more from our partners at the New Orleans Advocate here.