Suspected shooter, 4 others in custody following overnight fatal shooting in Denham Springs; victim identified

Fredrik Dennis, 23 (Source: LPSO)
Fredrik Dennis, 23 (Source: LPSO)

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Five people are in custody in connection to a shooting that happened late Wednesday night that left one person dead.

According to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, investigators are currently working the case. Deputies were dispatched to the 20000 block of Saun Dr. in Denham Springs just after 11 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 in reference to a shooting.

"A 19-year-old male victim had been shot in the abdomen. He was transported to a local hospital. We learned the victim died this afternoon. Through our investigation, we learned there was a confrontation between the victim and the suspects," said Sheriff Jason Ard.

The victim has been identified as Michael Avara, 19, of Walker.

The five people arrested were:

  • Shelby Compton, 19, of Denham Springs - obstruction of justice
  • Sydney Compton, 21, of Denham Springs - obstruction of justice
  • Fredrik Dennis, 23, of Compton, CA - second degree murder and convicted felon in possession of a firearm
  • Devonte Welton, 22, of Denham Springs - obstruction of justice
  • One juvenile - obstruction of justice

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what led to the shooting, but Ard believes it may have been drug-related.

"We do know that right now, but we believe this is going to be some type of drug-related incident here. That's how the individuals knew each other," said Ard.

Dennis, the suspected shooter, eluded police Wednesday night and led them on a day-long search. He was arrested Thursday while the other four were arrested earlier, charged with obstruction.

"You're talking about young kids here. We don't know again what the actual motivation is just yet, we just know that there were some type of drugs involved," said Ard.

Ard says while five people have been brought into custody in connection with the crime, the investigation is far from over. He believes more people could be involved. "Definitely going to be more charges coming, definitely going to be more people involved in this incident. We know that it's a large group and there's two different groups, so again, we're just trying to get to the bottom of what actually happened," said Ard.

As the investigation continues to unfold, Ard wants to reassure residents of their safety. He says violent crimes can happen anywhere. "We try to go above and beyond. We try to make sure we put a stop to this type of activity, but unfortunately, it happens," Ard added.

"This investigation is active. While three suspects were immediately in custody, one attempted to avoid capture. My deputies kept on the trail having to swim across high water to bring him into custody. Now it seems we'll have to interview multiple witnesses and canvas multiple locations. There are a lot of pieces to put together here," said Ard.

The investigation is ongoing. More arrests and charges are still possible.

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