Police: Gunfire was ploy to distract officers from vehicle with drugs

Kendrick Townsend (Source: Thibodaux Police Department)
Kendrick Townsend (Source: Thibodaux Police Department)

THIBODAUX, LA (WAFB) - Gunfire erupted during a traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of a man on drug charges. Although police believe the two cases are connected, they do not have enough at this time to make a second arrest.

"Officers believe the shots were fired as a ploy to get them to leave the scene of the traffic stop because of the illegal narcotics that were inside the vehicle," David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, said.

The investigation began on Wednesday, Dec. 4 when a Thibodaux Police Officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Kendrick Townsend, 28, of Houma.

"The vehicle had just left a nearby club," Melancon said. "Officers were lead to believe that illegal narcotics were inside the vehicle."

A K-9 unit was called to the scene to assist with the search of the vehicle. That's when the sound of gunfire rang out.

"Officers heard multiple gunshots approximately 30 yards away," Melancon noted. "They saw a vehicle flee the scene, so several officers pursued the vehicle."

When the caught up to the vehicle believed to be involved with the gunfire, they were unable to locate a gun.

"The driver of that vehicle denied any involvement," Melancon said. "However, officers believe there was a passenger in the vehicle who escaped from the vehicle before officers caught up to it. Due to a lack of evidence, the driver was released."

Townsend, the driver of the first vehicle, was arrested after officers found 900 grams of marijuana.

Townsend is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center. His bond is set at $50,000.

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