Sheriff identifies 2 victims in Tangipahoa Parish double murder, shooter remains at large

Authorities investigate shooting in Tangipahoa Parish that left 2 dead, shooter on the loose
Windows are broken on this SUV located within crime tape. (Source: WAFB)
Windows are broken on this SUV located within crime tape. (Source: WAFB)
Haynes Road in Natalbany (Source: WAFB)
Haynes Road in Natalbany (Source: WAFB)

NATALBANY, LA (WAFB) - Two people are dead after a shooting in Tangipahoa Parish and the search is on for their killer, according to investigators.

Officials with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office identified the victims as Charleston Mitchell, 31, of Hammond and Randy Darnell Bickham, 31, of Springfield.

Sheriff Daniel Edwards said two men were found shot to death in an SUV on Haynes Road at North Oak Street in Natalbany a little after 3:30 a.m. Natalbany is located just north of Hammond.

Marlene Mitchell, Charleston Mitchell's aunt, says that the SUV belongs to his girlfriend and that she became worried when he didn't return home.

"That's his girlfriend's truck," said Mitchell. "Last time she talked to him was yesterday at three o'clock but she didn't talk to him anymore. But she's been calling and looking for him."

Throughout the morning the scene quickly filled with concerned neighbors and family members, some of them saying they can't believe something like this has happened here.

"That right here, this is unexpected," says Benny Mitchell, Charleston Mitchell's uncle. "Like I say, he don't fool with nobody. Everybody knows him, he makes everybody laugh. He's got a baby on the way and three other children and now those children are fatherless."

Edwards said crimes like this in this area are very rare. He added it has been some time since his office has had to do this type of investigation.

"I don't remember working a homicide in this area in quite some time. It is certainly a tragedy. But it's something that we're going to stay on day and night."

Investigators have not yet identified a motive for this shooting.

"We're canvassing the neighborhood, you know, going door to door, trying to find anyone who may have seen something, heard something. That's what we're doing," says Edwards.

A team from the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab assisted with the investigation.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency.

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