Busy week for the UPSO

There have been several major crimes and car accidents over the course of the first few weeks of June. Multiple incidents of shootings, including what was mentioned last week about a drive-by that has been currently updated, as well as a new case involving three separately arrested juveniles. As for crashes, just recently* there was a major crash involving three vehicles in the town of Farmerville. On the newly renovated intersection of Railroad St. and the Sterlington Highway, commissioned by the town just last year in order to prevent accidents like these, there was a disastrous double “t-bone” crash. Also, unknown to most of the public, there was another bizarre accident on Highway 15 just days after the one previously mentioned.
Sheriff Dusty Gates has released a press statement to The Gazette regarding the drive-by shooting last Tuesday. On June 11, late into the night, the Farmerville Police Department responded to multiple calls about reported shots fired on Hickory Street at the intersection of West U Drive in Farmerville. On the scene, the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office also responded to lend assistance. Upon arrival, it was found that numerous houses had been rattled with heavy sustained firearm damage.
It was discovered that two victims had traveled by personal vehicle to the Union General Hospital with “moderate non-life-threatening gunshot wounds”. The Farmerville Police Department had requested that the investigation be conducted by the UPSO. “During the investigation, it was found that two juvenile males were walking down Hickory Street when an unknown group of individuals began firing handguns at them. Over 50 shots were fired resulting in several vehicles and one home being damaged.”
Both victims are being treated at local medical centers, one of which has been airlifted to a local trauma center.
At this time, the investigation is ongoing, and the public is requested to please contact the Farmerville Police Department or the Union Parish Sheriff’s Department if you have any information regarding this crime. As well as both of these departments, it’s requested for the public to also contact Crime Stoppers.
FPD: (318) 368-2226
UPSO: (318) 368-3124
CS: (318)368-9679
Following the drive-by, there was a case of second degree murder, the investigation has led to three arrests and another warrant for an arrest.
“On Friday, June 14, 2024, at around 2110 hours, Bernice Police Department received a call advising of a male subject suffering from a gunshot wound on 6th Street at Willow Village Apartments. Bernice Police Department and Union Parish Sheriff’s Office responded and located a 21-year-old male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. UPSO Deputies began emergency life-saving measures, attempting to stabilize the victim until EMS arrived. The victim was airlifted to a North Louisiana trauma center with life-threatening injuries.
One 15-year-old male juvenile from Junction City, La., was arrested for accessory after the fact of Attempted second-degree murder and booked into the Jackson Parish Juvenile Detention Center.
One 16-year-old male juvenile from Bernice, La., was arrested for attempted second-degree murder and booked into the Jackson Parish Juvenile Detention Center.
Jamartez Simmons, 17, of Bernice, La., was arrested for attempted second-degree murder and booked into the Union Parish Detention Center.
Warrants have also been issued for Lamar Hamilton, 17, of Junction City, La, for charges of attempted second-degree murder. Hamilton is considered armed and dangerous, and we ask that you please do not approach.”
Crime has been on the up, but so have crashes. On Friday, June 14, at the intersection of Railroad St and the Sterlington Hwy, three cars were involved in a terrible car accident. In the turning lane, a car was stopped waiting to make a left turn. Officials say that the driver believed that they could make the turn in time; this resulted in them driving forward and getting hit perpendicularly. The two drivers, still pressing the gas or by momentum, skidded into the E-Z Pak gas station parking lot and into another parked vehicle, creating the second t-bone in this series of crashes. Two of the drivers were hospitalized, but as of the time of writing there have thankfully been zero casualties.
Coincidentally, this intersection has been the subject of renovations since last year. The installation of a turning lane last summer for the precise reason to reduce crashes has seen the response of confusion from the general public, and is now the focal point of a major crash.
On Tuesday, June 18, on Highway 15, there was a high-speed car accident with a seemingly innocuous wreckage site. Passersby reported seeing an overturned vehicle in the yard of a local while driving on Highway 15. While to some this may have been a sign that something dangerous had just occurred, around the vehicle there were no indications that a car had driven or turned over in that spot, even the home’s fencing was completely untouched. Suddenly, a flurry of police cars had surrounded the area, followed by other local support vehicles. Somehow, the car had spontaneously flipped at such a high speed that it cleared the fencing and landed top-down in the yard. It is unclear at this time if anyone has been injured, and we await further details from the first responders on the scene.
Crimes and crashes, day by day. Every day seems to bring dangers to the roads and to the streets walked upon. Remember to drive carefully. Buckle up, look both ways before crossing the street, and remember to always be alert when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Be careful, and drive safely.

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