Marksville community holds vigil at site of fatal shooting

Marksville community holds vigil at site of fatal shooting
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

MARKSVILLE, LA (WAFB) - More than a week since the shooting, members of the Marksville community came together Saturday night to pay tribute to Jeremy Mardis and his father, Chris Few.

Gathering at the site of the shooting that left 6-year-old Mardis dead, more than three dozen community members lit candles, said prayers, and sang songs.

"It's just heartbreaking," said Chris Lachney, who helped organize the vigil.

Lachney, a 20-year-veteran of the Marksville Police Department, did not know either Few or Mardis but felt he needed to do something.

"We're all God's children, brothers and sisters, and we can join together and build this community back up," he said.

"At some point you have to say there's nothing I can do to change what happened, but there is something that I can move forward," said John Pontheir, who lead the vigil.

"Let's build this community better, and stronger than it ever was," said one attendee.

The spot of the shooting, located at the end of Martin Luther King Drive in Marksville, is now the site of a seemingly ever-growing memorial. Many attendees to the vigil brought balloons, toys, and letters to the makeshift tribute.

Patrick Jeansonne built a cross with Mardis's name on it and staked it into the ground at the site.

"We're going to let him go tonight and let him rest," he said.

Both of Mardis' grandmothers were in attendance at the vigil.

The community itself is still asking for answers in the case of Mardis's death. Maris was in the passenger seat of his father's car when a marshall pursuit ended in a shooting.

Two police officers, Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford, were arrested in connection to the shooting. They were booked on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

The exact reason for the car chase remains unclear.

On Saturday, despite the questions, vigil attendees said they hope to overcome the current black mark on Marksville.

"We want the people to see the light of our community and what our community is about," Pontheir said.

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