Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- From left, Abbeville Police Chief Tony Hardy, Louisiana State Trooper Stephen Hammons and Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon hold a press conference at the Sheriff's office Thursday in Abbeville.

State Police and Vermilion Parish’s top two lawmen issued a plea Thursday for residents who know any details of this week’s fatal shooting of Deputy Allen Bares or about five unsolved murders in Abbeville since 2012 to come forward with what they know.

Authorities assured tipsters of confidentiality and said they could get a cash award for providing a vital bit of information — from the identity of a shooter to the direction a car with squealing tires was headed.

“We’ll take anything we can. … Say something if you know something,” Abbeville Police Chief Tony Hardy said.

Hardy joined Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon and Trooper 1st Class Stephen Hammons in making the plea.

Four Vermilion Parish residents have been arrested in the Bares case, including an out-on-parole convict suspected of shooting the off-duty deputy Monday afternoon. Couvillon said the arrests were made after tips came in from the public.

Hammons said State Police, whose detectives are investigating the Bares homicide, are at a “critical stage” in collecting evidence and statements. He said it’s important witnesses come forward while their memories are fresh.

Information has not been so abundant in five Abbeville murder investigations. Four of the unsolved killings occurred in 2012, a particularly bloody year in Abbeville that saw eight murders.

Two of the unsolved cases involve the homicides of a father and his son, separated by almost two years.

Paul Rice was gunned down July 5, 2012, at the corner of Bailey and Felicity streets. His father, Paul Plowden, was shot to death in his driveway on Fairview Street on March 14 of this year.

The three other homicides, all in 2012, occurred in the victims’ homes.

  • Darryl Broussard was shot at his residence on Dec. 20, 2012. His mother found Broussard’s body in his South Lamar Street home.
  • Kyle Trahan was killed in his residence Dec. 7, 2012, shot multiple times at his home on Eaton Drive.
  • Rita Jordan, the only female victim in the unsolved homicides, was stabbed to death inside her home on Martin Luther King while baby-sitting her 1-year-old grandson.

“There’s one person or several running around Abbeville killing people,” Hardy said. “If you have an opportunity to help us find these killers, now’s the time to do it.”

Anyone with information about the unsolved crimes in Abbeville can call city police at (337) 893-0871 or (337) 643-1777.

To contribute information in the homicide of Deputy Bares, call (337) 332-8028.

Detectives early Tuesday arrested convicted felon Quintylan Richard, the suspected gunman, and Baylan Taylor on one count each of first-degree murder, unauthorized use of a moveable and burglary. Bares was gunned down after he identified himself as a police officer to Richard and Taylor.

Late Tuesday, police arrested Quintygi Richard and Miguel Comeaux on counts of accessory after the fact in a first-degree murder. Hammons said Quintylan Richard is related to Quintygi Richard, but he would not say how they’re related.

Bares’ funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at St. Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church in Abbeville. Burial will be in Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church Cemetery in Erath.