NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said a person has confessed and is in custody in Wednesday morning’s killings in Terrytown that left at least three people dead and two injured.
Sheriff Joe Lopinto said he has consulted with the coroner, and while no official cause of death has been released, it is believed the killings and injuries were the result of blunt force trauma. He described the crime scene as “very gruesome and large.” He said autopsies will be conducted Thursday (March 7), and more information would be released then, including information about the person in custody.
Lopinto said the investigation will continue with the male suspect, and investigators are not looking for anyone else.
The ages of the victims are unclear but two children and a woman were killed. Investigators said two other juveniles were taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The incident unfolded when deputies were dispatched to the 900 block of West Monterey Court around 7 a.m. in response to a 911 call for medical assistance, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jason Rivarde.
Rivarde said the JPSO is still piecing together what happened.
Friends, family and neighbors gathered outside the scene for hours as deputies investigated. Residents said the neighborhood is no stranger to violence, but what happened is unheard of.
“Right now it’s just heartbreaking in this neighborhood right now," Cynthia Bingham said. “You see the kids mostly, you don’t see the mom that much. Or you’d see the grandfather outside.”
Bingham said she’d see the children outside playing and riding their bikes. The children were described as active, pleasant and athletic and close to their grandfather, who said he spent Mardi Gras day with them and was planning on taking them to do something fun before learning of the tragedy.
Dance instructor James Young was at the scene, trying to wrap his head around what happened.
“We have to do better. Together get our heads together and strive for better,” Young said.
Family members at the scene of the homicide did identify some of the victims. However, FOX 8 is withholding those names and ages until next of kin has been notified.
Several of the children were involved in dance groups that paraded in several Mardi Gras parades.
Rivarde said a triple homicide like this is upsetting even for the most veteran officers.
“Anytime you have a triple homicide, you’re going to have something that’s out of the ordinary, and it’s not something that we are typically deal with," Rivarde said. "Of course it’s shocking, and when children are victims, it always makes it worse.”