Drive-By Shooting Remains Unsolved - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

March 9, 2005

Drive-By Shooting Remains Unsolved

A drive-by shooting in Ascension Parish more than a year ago left one young man dead and a family trying to understand why it happened.  Because of the way it happened, police don't have a lot to go on.  The death of Roman Jackson left a community stunned.

By all accounts, Roman Jackson was a good kid.  He kept his grades up, and played hard for St. Amant High School on both the football field and the basketball court. On January 19th of 2004, Roman and his girlfriend were driving back from Gonzales to her home in Darrow.

According to Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, "On the way to Darrow, a Honda Accord, we believe, began following them about a mile before Walter Hill Road at the intersection of Highway 44 and 22. Followed so close, the girlfriend thought at one point it was getting ready to bump them."

Roman sped up and slowed down, trying to get some separation between the two cars. It didn't work, and as he approached Walter Hill Road, the car was still right behind them.

After making the turn onto Walter Hill Road, police say Roman pulled off to the side, at his girlfriend's home, to let the car go by. It went by, but not before firing five shots into the car, three of them hitting roman. That car then sped away, heading toward River Road.

While his girlfriend made it out unharmed, Roman was fatally wounded and died at the scene. His parents remember getting the phone call that night from a friend, saying Roman had been shot.

"I was laying in bed," remembers Roman's father, Freddie Jackson, Jr.  "My wife come and got me, told me Roman was shot. I said, 'not Roman.' " 

Bertha Ealy Jackson, Roman's mother, added, "We jumped in the car and went to darrow. There was Roman, laying back in the car , dead."

His room is now a memorial, filled with pictures, letters, and jerseys. Everyone of them holding some special meaning for his parents.

"He didn't bother nobody," says Bertha. "It's a shame people do such a thing. An innocent child, sitting in his car at his girlfriend's house... somebody walk up and take his life."

The car Roman was in, pierced by bullets, has since been fixed. The holes are gone, but the void remains. 

"I keep beating myself up," says Freddie.  "The one time he needed me the most and I wasn't there to help him." 

Family and police alike are hoping Roman can be helped now. The only way that is going to happen is if his killer is brought to justice.  If you think you can help police solve this crime, give Crime Stoppers a call at 344-STOP. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to 1,000 dollars.

Reporter:  Matt Williams

Powered by Frankly