NATALBANY — Two men were shot dead early Thursday in this small village north of Hammond.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office identified the victims as 31-year-old Randy Darnell Bickham, of Springfield, and 24-year-old Charleston Mitchell, of Hammond.
Detectives have not yet confirmed a motive for the shooting or identified any suspects, sheriff’s spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said in a news release late Thursday afternoon.
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The Sheriff’s Office received calls about 3:45 a.m. that gunshots were heard near the intersection of Haynes Road and North Oak Street, one block west of the railroad tracks off La. 1064, Panepinto said.
When deputies arrived, they found the two men unresponsive in a vehicle on the side of Haynes Road, Panepinto said.
The SUV, its driver-side window shattered, was parked in the grass alongside a barbed-wire fence surrounding the Tangipahoa Parish school system’s Title I Parent Center and Migrant Education Program building.
The school property wraps around the side and back of the Reimers Gordon Temple Church of God in Christ, on the southwest corner of Haynes and North Oak.
Relatives and friends of the victims gathered in front of the church and alongside North Oak Street on Thursday morning as the Coroner’s Office removed the men’s bodies from the vehicle and the State Police Crime Lab gathered evidence.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 554-5245.
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