Tensas Tragedy: Mayor of St. Joseph speaks out - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Tensas Tragedy: Mayor of St. Joseph speaks out

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ST. JOSEPH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Tensas Parish community is seeking answers this week. The leader of the group, Mayor Edward Brown is one of them.

"I'm looking at the situation as it happened, but I'm still concerned about what happened," Brown said.

Brown is serving his fourth term and has never had to deal with a tragedy, like the one at Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph Tuesday, leading into Wednesday.

"I did talk with some families who had left town and in fact evacuated. I don't know who told them to do that but they did," Brown said.

The mayor just left a funeral service, when he stopped at the Trak convenience store, where he talked with the gunman.

"He said 'mayor, how are you doing?' and I said 'fine'," Brown said.

A short time later, three branch workers were taken hostage and Brown says he knew very well.

"Those employees are people who I have known over the years," Brown said. "Tensas State Bank is my personal bank."

The community was still grieving less than 24 hours after the standoff ended. People brought reefs, balloons, teddy bears, and even flowers as a sign of support for the victims and their loved ones.

As the town's leader, the mayor is hoping to meet with the families of the victims as well as the relatives of the gunman.

"As the mayor, I have to make sure I promote goodwill,"Brown said.

There's no word on a date of a vigil for the victims. But Brown is hoping to help his neighbors move forward from the grieving stage.

As for the convenience store, where relatives of the gunman work, the business remains closed.

"I would hate to lose that, but if that's the will of the family, that's their will," Brown said.

The president of the bank declined to comment on camera. He says the branch will remain closed at least for another week. But there are plans to reopen the business.

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