Authorities are remaining mum about any possible link between a fatal shooting Sunday evening in Zachary and four reported homicides Sunday in East Feliciana Parish.
[Update, Nov. 27, 10:20 a.m.: Fatal shootings in East Feliciana and Zachary connected, law enforcement says]
Four people are dead in two separate incidents reported in East Feliciana Sunday.
The bodies of three people were found inside a house on Plank Road in Slaughter just over the parish line around 5:30 p.m., said Greg Phares, chief deputy of the East Feliciana Sheriff's Office. Earlier Sunday, a body was found in a wooded area in the parish, although it's not known yet if those two incidents are related.
In Zachary, about five miles down Plank Road from the Slaughter scene, a man was fatally shot around 4:45 p.m. outside the Crossroad's Grocery Store and gas station, said Zachary Police Chief David McDavid and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Mike Chustz.
Dozens of people gathered at the two Plank Road scenes, but dispersed or waited in vehicles as temperatures dropped and answers remained limited. At one point, about 30 people huddled together outside the modest home in Slaughter, sobbing and crying while one woman prayed out loud and called out, "Keep praying! Don't stop until the spirit breaks!"
McDavid said the shooting at the gas station at the intersection of Plank Road and Main Street was the result of a fight near the gas pumps. The shooter, who has not been identified, then left the scene. McDavid said it was unclear if the slain man and the shooter knew each other. The body was found on the ground near a vehicle, the chief said.
Investigators focused their attention on a black SUV that was parked at one of the several gas pumps. Officers had to move the crime tape back at one point because so many people had gathered there.
McDavid wouldn't rule out if the shooting was connected to the Plank Road deaths just across the parish line in East Feliciana, but declined further comment. Phares said he would not speculate on a connection between the two cases because the investigation is still ongoing.
"We're working hand in hand with the other agencies to find out what's going on up there and if they are related to our investigation here also," McDavid said.
McDavid also said it wasn't clear if the people involved in the Zachary homicide are from Zachary.
"Something might have happened somewhere else and they just came here to Zachary and the incident happened here," McDavid said. "I just think people need to really dig deep and find out what's the cause of this."
Investigators have crime scene tape up around this home and are gathered on the porch. Wilson Police unit also here. pic.twitter.com/O6MUljlRBZ— Emma Discher (@EmmaDischer) November 27, 2017
Around 11 a.m. Sunday, East Feliciana Sheriff's deputies were called to a wooded area the intersection of Nesom Road and Highway 63 by a woman who reported seeing something suspicious, said Sheriff Jeff Travis.
The deputies found a body, which was in the woods but could be seen from the road, said Travis, who called the situation a "suspicious death."
East Baton Rouge Parish deputies, Zachary police, Zachary Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services and the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner were all on the Zachary scene. East Feliciana Parish deputies, Wilson Police, Slaughter Police and Louisiana State Police were on the scene in Slaughter late Sunday.