MARRERO, La. - Sunday night’s double shooting in Marrero marks the latest gun violence in a string of incidents in the area in the last three weeks.
The victims were brothers, who the Jefferson Parish Sheriff said were gunned down either by someone in another car or someone on the ground just a block away from a neighborhood church.
The two men, one age 18, the other 21, were shot while in their vehicle on a dark but busy street. Hours earlier, it flowed with people leaving Second Zion Baptist Church.
“When they said 1600 block of Julie Street, immediately I knew that was right there by us, the 1600 block, that's where we are. So, my heart just melted when I heard that. I immediately thought I would know them,” said J. Nelson Brown, Second Zion’s Pastor.
He’s also a leader in Jefferson Parish's Cops and Clergy program.
Brown said he knew Sunday night's victims, Martin Harry and Delanta McCall, as the brothers who grew up in the house next to the church. They, and their mother, had moved several years ago.
“Everybody's uncertain. There's a few out there talking about retaliation. But right now, we just don't know what it is,” Brown said about a possible motive behind the shootings.
In the past three weeks, there have been six murders in Marrero.
“We have always dedicated a lot of resources to this particular, what we refer to as the Ames corridor,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand in an interview Monday.
It is a crime hot spot on and off, the Sheriff said, but he adds, the community mindset is changing.
“We do see a lot of citizen cooperation. A lot of 107 calls of suspicious people, and 107 calls of suspicious vehicles. We respond there. We make a lot of cases there,” Normand said.
Reverend Brown said that's why this weekend's shooting hurts even more.
“It was just devastating to me. I have not regrouped yet. It was just so hurtful when we do so much,” he said.
Normand said his officers made a lot of proactive stops over the weekend and that they're encountering a lot of weapons.
Investigators also found weapons in the victims' car.