PONCHATOULA, LA (WAFB) - Authorities have made an arrest in a deadly shooting believed to have been motivated by an attempted robbery.
The victim was identified as Greg McGary.
The Ponchatoula Police Department reported Rashad Evans, 34, was arrested Friday morning. Police Chief Bry Layrisson said this was the town's first murder in over five years.
Investigators said an officer was patrolling North Baronne Street Thursday evening when he saw two men standing in the road. When he got closer, he saw one of the men's clothes were bloody. The other man ran away. The officer chased after him, but gave up to check on the victim, who had been shot in the face.
According to reports, the officer then called dispatch for more officers and medical assistance. The victim was taken to the hospital and responding officers set up a perimeter in the area while waiting for K-9 units from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office to arrive to help with the search for the suspect. However, he was not found.
After talking to people living in the area, detectives said they learned Evans may have been involved in the shooting. Early the next morning, police arrested him at his home on outstanding warrants.
McGary died Friday night from his gunshot wound.
Layrisson said detectives spent the next few days gathering evidence, including the clothes Evans was wearing the night of the shooting and a possible murder weapon. Evans, who had been locked up in the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite since his arrest, was booked on charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
In a written release, the police chief thanked residents for providing information that led to the arrest.
"The citizens of Ponchatoula have been outstanding in this investigation, and if it was not for their willingness to speak up, the arrest would not have been made so soon," Layrisson said. "For this, my department and I are very thankful."
He also offered sympathetic words to the victim's family.
"Once again, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the McGary family. Mr. Greg McGary was a lifelong member of the Ponchatoula community, and he will be greatly missed by family and friends," Layrisson stated.
Evans remains behind bars. Bond information was not provided.