‘I fear for my family,’ grandfather reacts after West Monroe shooting

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:45 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Another shooting in West Monroe has a man fearing for the safety of his grandchildren. Meanwhile, police say they’re stepping up patrols and invite members of the community to work with them to help solve the area’s crime problem.

The latest shooting happened Sunday evening near Interstate 20 and the Ouachita River. The West Monroe Police Department says Matt Waters was sitting in his car when Christopher Williams walked up and demanded money. When Waters refused to give him money, Williams shot him twice, police said. The incident was captured on a residential camera in the 300 block of South Second Street around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 19.

“The video shows the suspect is in the front yard and he says something,” said Sergeant C.J. Beck. “You can see that he faces the victim, turns around, comes back, and you can hear the two shots that were fired. And you can hear the response from the victim that he had been shot. You can’t see the shooting, but you can see right before the shooting, and right after the shooting.”

Beck said they can’t release the video due to the investigation but said the video shows the suspect flee the scene.

Jimmy Lyons lives down the street and said he heard the two gunshots while he was watching football.

“I kinda jumped and I came out to the end of the road and looked down the street, and seen some boys running. Didn’t recognize who they were. They said, ‘well they just shot somebody down there in the car.’ And I’m like ‘wow,’ you know. So I got my grandsons, got all my kids, and got them back into the house,” said Lyons.

Lyons said neighborhood crime has gotten so bad, that it’s affecting his sleep.

“I can hardly sleep at night. I mean, it’s scary. It’s like in a movie. I mean, I lay there and I can hear just a little sound and I’m up,” said Lyons. He said his main concern is the safety of his grandchildren who play outside. “They’re up and down the street all day long, you know. And I fear for them and I fear for my family,” he said.

Lyons said his and his sister’s house have both been shot. He said his house was shot “about a year or so ago” after someone fled through his yard.

“The people thought they stayed at my house, so obviously, they just lit up the house, you know? Missed me and my little stepdaughter by inches.”

Lyons said he’s seen a larger police presence recently and would like to see more community involvement as well. Beck said there are ways for the community to come together safely.

“Number one, they can communicate with the Community Police Division. I’m a part of the division. I’ll come down and meet with them to talk about safety procedures, things they can do different things like that. There are Crime Stoppers if they want to remain anonymous,” said Beck. He said there has been an increase in shootings in Ouachita Parish and they’re working to address it.

“What we’re doing is we have a street crimes unit that is actively working this area, that’s their job. We’re increasing patrol units in this area, which is a part of their job,” said Beck.

Lyons said he has cameras around his house and owns weapons for his family’s protection. But he just wants things to get better.

“I just hope they clean it up. I mean, the... the drugs have taken over. I don’t get in nobody’s business, but I try to teach mine not to get around stuff like that, so you know... I’m just going to sit back and let the police do their job.”

Police say Waters’ injuries were not life-threatening. As of Monday, Williams is wanted for attempted second-degree murder.

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