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Zachary High School mourning student killed in shooting at concert, ATV event Saturday night

2 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago Sunday, December 03 2023 Dec 3, 2023 December 03, 2023 6:46 PM December 03, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT HUDSON - A suspect is in custody, charged with murder in connection with a shooting incident that sparked panic in Port Hudson Saturday night.

The shooting happened about 8:20 p.m. at a concert and large-scale ATV trail ride in a wooded area off West Port Hudson Plains Road. An estimated 1,000 people were at the event.

Lamar Hall, 32, was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with principal to first-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon. Hall told law enforcement that he was involved in the shooting, but only used his gun because there was "a large shoot-out," arrest documents said. 

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said 16-year-old La'Taurus Smith of Zachary was found dead, two people were shot and others had minor injuries from running away after the gunfire.

La'Taurus was a junior at Zachary High School, and officials there said they would be providing counselling to staff and students on request.

"ZHS is a large family," they said. "This affects us all. We will make every effort to assist our students, staff and parents to cope with this loss today, tomorrow and in the future."

The sheriff's office said deputies and private security had been assigned to the event and were on scene prior to the violence.

A witness, who did not want to go on camera, told WBRZ she called deputies around 7:30 p.m. when the crowd became too unruly. She said people were out of control and contacted law enforcement to disperse the group.

Investigators conducted multiple interviews with witnesses. At least 20 spent shell casings were recovered from the wooded area. Dozens of law enforcement officers worked for hours to clear attendees from the area.

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