ST. GABRIEL — The continued bad blood over a grand jury’s recent decision not to indict the son of the town’s police chief in the slayings of two brothers in May spilled over into a fight Monday that later led to shots being fired into a crowd of people, authorities said.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi urged calm following the incident late Monday near Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway that led to a Carville man’s arrest on counts of attempted murder.
Stassi said the shooting incident Monday night, in which no one was struck or injured, was directly tied to an argument over the decision not to indict Kevin Ambeau Jr. in the killing of the two brothers.
“People need to understand: We have to live and let be,” Stassi said. “The grand jury has spoken. Let’s move on. I want peace as we move on into the holiday season.”
Monday night’s incident happened a few blocks from where Ambeau Jr. fatally shot brothers Dominique Dunbar, 26, and Rove Lodge, 30, in May after the chief’s son and Ambeau Jr.’s cousin had gotten into several physical altercations with the brothers earlier that day.
Ambeau Jr. told investigators that the two brothers — one-time friends of his — and several others followed him and his cousin back to the trailer, located in the 5000 block of Martin Luther King Parkway. He said Dunbar and Lodge were trying to enter the trailer through the back door when he shot them.
A grand jury determined last week there wasn’t enough evidence to indict Ambeau Jr. for the killings. A looming question of the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office’s investigation was whether he was attempting to defend his girlfriend’s home when he fired the shots that killed the two brothers.
The shooting of the brothers has caused divisions within the community that took a violent turn on Monday night.
Stassi said Israel Lodge, of Carville, confronted Earl Warren III and demanded he choose a side in the ongoing conflict that has shattered a once close-knit group of friends in the wake of the brothers’ deaths.
Lodge is the brother of Rove Lodge and Dunbar. The sheriff said Warren was a longtime friend of both Ambeau Jr. and Lodge and his brothers.
“They wanted (Warren) to pick sides and he told them he wouldn’t. He said he was friends with all of them,” Stassi said, describing how the fist fight between the two men started.
The sheriff said that after Lodge bested Warren in the altercation, Warren left the scene and returned about 5 p.m. that evening and fired shots with a 9 mm handgun into a crowd of about 12 people standing outside near Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Sixth Street in St. Gabriel.
No one was injured but Stassi said bullets hit a home and several vehicles in the area.
Warren, 25, of 5416 Highway 75 in Carville, was booked into the Iberville Parish Jail on attempted second-degree murder and simple criminal damage to property.
The sheriff is hoping things will cool down — and fast — now as the families and friends involved come to grips with the grand jury’s action.
“I’ve tried to tell them that nothing is worth losing your life over,” Stassi said.
St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau Sr. said his son moved out of the area in September and now lives in Virginia.
Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.