FRANKLINTON, La. - A seven-block-by-three-block area in the Town of Franklinton saw more police activity in July than the entire municipality of 3,800 usually sees in a year. Four shootings, one a homicide, are the highlights of the spike.
The first case, of shots fired on Bene Street during a street fight amongst teens, was at the start of the month, and ended in multiple arrests.
The next, July 10, was at a home on Parker Street. Police say two friends were inside. One ended up shot to death, the other has been arrested for murder, though the investigation continues.
The third happened last weekend when people from out of town turned a street party near 12th and Dobson into a shots fired crime scene. Police are still looking for suspects in that case.
Lastly, three days ago, a man from Mississippi is accused of coming to Franklinton, with his two young children, and shooting at a man in his car. Police believe the incident stemmed from a love triangle, and a search is underway for the suspect across state lines.
'You have a group of individuals they don't have a respect for life, much less their own and the gun violence is more prevalent now. They see it on television, they see other people doing it, they see it in larger cities and they've become numb to the fact of the damages that can be caused by that violence,' said Franklinton Police Maj. Justin Brown.
Residents are outraged at the crime spike, especially one woman who was recently victimized.
'Quite a few of the children have not completed high school and they just walk the streets, day and night, and they terrorize people in the community,' said Tarmecia Partman. 'As a person in the community, we have had enough.'
Police have offered an extended curfew to the city council to consider as one solution to the problem. They're also working with the community to find entertainment for kids as another.
Some of those ideas include opening up the town's community theatre to more frequent performances and a free community concert scheduled for Aug. 9 at the Washington Parish Fairgrounds. That event will include a classic car and motorcycle show, as well as food and drink booths by the two local high schools to help them raise money for activities.
Resident Theron Graves said, 'The place has potential for things to happen, to get people away from having these private street parties or things.'
And many people are willing to put the work in to turn that potential into reality.
If you have any information on the two most recent shootings, call Franklinton Police at 985-839-2977.