Each armed with a bouquet of flowers and a prayer, musician Ted Nugent and former congressman Col. Allen West showed up Saturday morning at the Lafayette movie theater that was the site of a mass shooting earlier this week.
The two men knelt down on the scorching pavement to place white roses and purple and yellow spring mix in front of the crime tape, then stood silently. Nugent pulled off a cap on his head, and they overlooked the parking lot of the Lafayette movie theater where a gunman allegedly opened fire Thursday night and killed two women and injured nine others.
Nugent and West were quickly swarmed by the media, as reporters had been waiting to talk to a police official.
“I feel I’m a part of this community,” Nugent said. “I’ve rock and rolled down here before, I’ve spent time in the great outdoors in sportsman’s paradise, and I feel a sense of community. I feel like this is my neighborhood, and those were my neighbors that were killed and injured. And I’m just here to show my support and prayers.”
Nugent said he was passing through Lafayette for a sportsman’s expo. The Louisiana Outdoor Expo is being held at the Cajundome this weekend.
Asked about their well-known support of gun rights and how gun laws may have affected the shooting, West said guns were not the problem.
“I don’t think a gun just jumped up by itself and did what it did,” West said. “I think it was an individual and that person is responsible for their actions.”
West said his heart is with the community, but he is sure that Lafayette will overcome the tragedy.