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Customer fatally shot in line at gas station in Jefferson Parish

9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Friday, September 03 2021 Sep 3, 2021 September 03, 2021 9:15 PM September 03, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo from nola.com (credited to WWL-TV)

METAIRIE - High tensions at a gas station turned deadly Friday while drivers waited in long lines at a Chevron in Jefferson Parish.

According to Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, shortly after 4:15 P.M., a customer pulled a gun on another during an argument over gas and fatally shot him. The suspect drove off with other people in their vehicle.

Lopinto expressed his anger at the incident in a press conference Friday evening.

"It is unbelievable that people can't act like adults in this situation," he said. "It's ridiculous that my deputies are being called from place to place to place."

Lopinto said this was the second incident involving a gun at a gas station on the same day. A customer was arrested at another gas station earlier in the day after pulling his gun on another person.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the services aren't here," said Lopinto. "We don't have enough gas being delivered to stations. We don't have enough generators on. The lines are long. Everybody's out of control."

Lopinto is demanding the suspect and the passengers in his car turn themselves in, saying there are enough witnesses to help track them down. One person captured a picture of the getaway car before the suspect sped off. Lopinto said they will analyze the image and release the vehicle's description once enough information is gathered.

"Nobody needed to lose their life over freakin' gas today," he said.

Both incidents come just days after Lopinto urged Jefferson Parish residents to exercise patience and caution while at the pumps. Since people are relying on gas to power their generators to keep the lights on while waiting for power restoration, fuel has become a highly sought-after product over the past week. This means it's becoming more difficult for stations to keep up with intense demand.

"Just because you have electricity at your house doesn't mean these gas stations are going to have gas," said Lopinto. "All of the refineries are still down. What takes normally two hours for a gas station to refill with a truck is taking 20 hours."

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