PONCHATOULA, La. — A priest remains in critical condition after he was shot. The sheriff says it was the priest's own brother who pulled the trigger, then he shot his two other siblings before running away with a young woman believed to be his girlfriend.
Mobile home number nine at the Toula Oaks Mobile Home Community is where the violence unfolded.
According to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office it happened around 11 Tuesday morning. Chief Jimmy Travis says Baton Rouge Priest Ryan Hallford - who owns the mobile home - and his sister came to talk to their 31-year-old brother Casey Hallford about his non-payment of rent.
He says the priest walked out, then came back in and told Casey he needed to pack his things and leave.
"The younger brother, the shooter, went into a bedroom, comes out with a nine-millimeter semi-automatic handgun and started shooting, struck the victim several times... the other two siblings fled into bedrooms and shut the door. The shooter fired a shot through the door, striking one of the siblings and then forced the door open where he shot the second sibling," Chief Travis told Eyewitness News.
Father Hallford suffered eight bullet wounds, his other two siblings were also shot. Deputies found 15 shell casings during their investigation. Chief Travis said the priest tried to take cover, later collapsing, his blood streaked across his car still sitting outside the home.
According to the Sheriff's office, Casey and his girlfriend fled the home and headed into the woods. Deputies set up a perimeter and sent in K9s. The duo was later captured.
"From talking to the victims, they all felt like he was trying to take their lives," Chief Travis said.
"All I heard was gunshots... I rushed out of my bedroom and looked out of that window there, and saw the brother got shot there. Casey ran back into his house with the weapon, then came right back out," neighbor Anthony Dominguez said.
A rosary was held tonight for Priest Ryan, as he fights for survival from gunshot wounds.