Road rage incident in Walker leads to attempted second degree murder arrest

Johnny Franz's bullet-ridden vehicle. (Source: Walker Police Department)
Johnny Franz's bullet-ridden vehicle. (Source: Walker Police Department)

WALKER, LA (WAFB) - A Denham Springs man was arrested by the Walker Police Department Saturday on an attempted second degree murder charge after a road rage incident.

According to Walker Police officials, a vehicle driven by Johnny Franz, 35, of Walker, was traveling southbound on Walker North Rd. when he encountered a slower moving vehicle, also traveling southbound, that was operated by Bradley Wade Deville, 31, of Denham Springs. Franz informed Walker Police that as the two vehicles crossed a set of railroad tracks, be began tailgating Deville's vehicle out of frustration, causing Deville to drive even slower.

"Mr. Franz reported to Walker officers that when Mr. Deville stopped at the traffic signal at Walker North and Burgess Avenue, he pulled alongside of Deville's vehicle and the two men exchanged heated words concerning the quality of each other's driving. Mr. Franz told our officers that during the argument, he invited Mr. Deville to get out of his car and 'do something about it.' In response, Mr. Deville produced a handgun and fired multiple times at Mr. Franz, striking the passenger side window and door of Mr. Franz's car," said Walker Police Captain John Sharp.

Police say Deville then sped away from the scene, traveling south on Walker South Rd. with Franz following. The two vehicles got on I-12 and headed west towards Baton Rouge. "While Mr. Deville was fleeing the scene with Mr. Franz following him, we received a report of shots fired on Walker North Road near the Freshman High School. Our officers responded and were patrolling the area when they were notified by the Denham Springs Police Department that a Denham Springs officer had the two vehicles involved in the shooting stopped on I-12 eastbound near Pete's Highway. Two our of officers then met the Denham Springs officers where the vehicles were stopped," said Sharp.

When Walker officers arrived on scene, they observed multiple bullet holes in Franz's vehicle. "Our officers questioned Mr. Franz and obtained his version of the shooting. In addition to admitting his role in the incident, including his actions in following Mr. Deville too closely and engaging in an argument with Mr. Deville, Mr. Franz described to our officers how the shooting occurred and related Mr. Deville's efforts to flee the scene. Mr. Franz explained how he had followed Mr. Deville from Walker to O'Neal Lane in Baton Rouge, where Mr. Deville exited the interstate, turned around, and began driving east, back toward Walker, and he stated that upon reaching Denham Springs, the two vehicles were stopped by Denham Springs Police," said Sharp. Captain Sharp says Deville refused to speak with police regarding the incident.

After finding bullet holes in Franz's vehicle and 9mm handgun in Deville's car, Walker Police officers placed Deville under arrest. "Our officers found that eight shots hit Mr. Franz's vehicle, including three shots that hit the passenger side window. Officers also located a 9mm handgun in Mr. Deville's vehicle, as well as a partially consumed alcoholic beverage," said Sharp. Officer investigating the scene also located four 9mm shell casings.

"Based on statements of Mr. Franz and the physical evidence recover from Mr. Deville's vehicle and at the scene of the shooting, Mr. Deville was charged with attempted second degree murder, illegal use of a firearm, use of a firearm in a school zone, unlawful discharge of a firearm, criminal damage to property, and possession of an open container. After processing, he was transported to the Livingston Parish Detention Center where he was booked and remains in custody, with bond set at $126,500," said Sharp.

The incident remains under investigation and Captain Sharp says additional charges are possible.

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