Autopsies on four people dead of gunfire early Sunday in Central reveal more details on an apparent murder-suicide among longtime friends who’d gathered to watch an LSU game and listen to music.
East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark said Perry Allen, 55, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, while that man’s brothers, Joseph Allen, 57, and Mark Allen, 51, each died of one gunshot wound to the chest. He confirmed all deaths were homicides.
The alleged shooter, Rodney Chemin, 60, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Clark said.
Casey Rayborn Hicks, spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s office — the investigating agency — said Monday she did not have information on the type of firearm used in the killing.
An evening of watching an LSU football game and singing karaoke at a party on a normally quiet rural private road in Central turned violent Sunday when a man shot and killed three brothers and then turned the gun on himself.
Rodney Chemin, 60, of Talmadge Crumholt Road, Central, is suspected of shooting and killing Joseph Allen, 57, of Holden, and Perry Allen, 55, and Mark Allen, 51, both of Denham Springs, before shooting himself, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“This is a tragic situation,” said Dwayne Crumholt, Chemin’s cousin and the host of Saturday’s get-together on Talmadge Crumholt Road, a gravel road that winds through primarily family property owned by Chemin, Crumholt and their extended family.
“They were all four great men,” Crumholt said.
Neighbors and relatives of Chemin described the suspected shooter as friendly and even-tempered and said they were shocked by the shootings.
The argument at the party that apparently began over music led to a physical fight on the front porch of Crumholt’s house, according to his daughter, Jessica Crumholt, and her half-sister Adrienne Crumholt, both of whom were not at the house at the time of the fight.
It was unclear Sunday afternoon who was involved in the fight.
Chemin walked home after the fight sometime after midnight on Sunday morning, Hicks said. The three brothers also ended up outside Chemin’s home, located not far from Dwayne Crumholt’s house on Talmadge Crumholt Road.
After hearing several shots, Dwayne Crumholt went out to see what happened and found the four bodies lying in Chemin’s driveway, his daughter said.
Jessica Crumholt said a family golf cart had been wrecked near Chemin’s driveway. It was not known Sunday afternoon which of the four victims drove it to the house.
Neighbors said the party had begun early Saturday afternoon with drinking and music and had continued into the night as those gathered watched Saturday night’s LSU football game.
Gregory Allen, a younger brother of the three victims, said Sunday that his three siblings were all friends with Dwayne Crumholt, but Joe Allen was particularly close to him. He said it was common for the trio to visit Crumholt at his house.
“Dwayne used to have parties out there all the time on the weekends,” Gregory Allen said.
Crumholt’s daughter said Mark Allen also did maintenance work around the family’s property on Talmadge Crumholt Road.
Outside his home Sunday, Dwayne Crumholt called the brothers “three of my best friends.”
The Allen family gathered Sunday at Mark Allen’s mobile home, located next to the home of his and his brothers’ mother, Vera Allen Faubion, who has seven children, including two surviving sons and two daughters.
“It’s bad enough to lose just one,” Faubion said Sunday. “It shatters your heart when you lose three.”
Family members said both Joe and Mark Allen had worked at Ellis Electric Co. in Denham Springs for a number of years before health issues had forced both to retire. Perry Allen was a carpenter and metal worker.
Patricia Allen, a sister of the victims, described her brothers as down-to-earth and friendly “country boys” who enjoyed fishing and hunting. “They’d help you out, do anything for you,” she said.
Neighbors and relatives of Chemin were trying to understand Sunday what prompted the shootings.
“Rodney wasn’t no brawler,” said one neighbor, who asked not to be named. “He was a laid-back, really nice guy.”
“It doesn’t make sense,” said Jessica Crumholt, who said she knew all four well and had dated one of Joe Allen’s adult sons for several years. “None of them were bad guys at all — they were very good guys.”
“Every once in a blue moon they’d have their differences, but they always worked it out,” she said.