An off-duty sergeant in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, who was described as a mentor to colleagues, was discovered shot dead in front of her Terrytown condominium on Monday morning.
Sheriff Newell Normand said a passing neighbor spotted the sergeant’s hair hanging out of the shattered driver’s side window of a red Ford truck in a parking lot in the 2300 block of Ashley Drive about 9:45 a.m.
When deputies arrived, they found Sgt. Tracey Marshall, 47, had been was shot several times.
The Sheriff’s Office said Marshall was in a private vehicle and in civilian clothes when she was discovered, and authorities have given no indication that the killing was related to her official duties.
Marshall’s neighbor, Alex Bourgeois Jr., 79, said he heard a popping sound similar to fireworks about 9:30 p.m. Sunday in the midst of a rainstorm.
Several other neighbors said they heard gunshots at the same time, raising the possibility that Marshall may have been killed the night before her body was discovered.
Normand said neighbors on the next street over, behind a wooden fence, called in a report of shots fired Sunday night, but responding deputies found nothing.
Marshall, a 10-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was assigned as a bailiff in the Jefferson Parish courts. Bourgeois said she had gone back to living at a residence near where she was discovered only about a month ago after renting it out for about a year.
Marshall’s Sheriff’s Office colleague, Lt. Kenyatta Bryant, 33, described her as a mentor for other deputies during her long tenure at the Gretna jail. Talking to Marshall, Bryant said, was like getting “a free counseling session.”
Marshall stood only about 5 feet tall, Bryant said, but she instantly commanded others’ attention.
“The inmates even respected her,” Bryant said. “She was the type of person that knew how to take control without going overboard.”
Bryant said Marshall did not have children but did own a dog whom she treated like one. Bryant said her friend was “ecstatic” earlier this year when she moved from the jail to work in the courts, a significant promotion within the Sheriff’s Office hierarchy.
Her death has left colleagues in disbelief.
“It’s just unreal. Unreal,” Bryant said.
Deputies spent hours gathering evidence and canvassing Marshall’s leafy neighborhood of condos and apartments in Terrytown on Monday morning.
Neighbors expressed surprise that a shooting happened in the area at all.
Court records show a registered sex offender named James Darby, 48, was convicted of cyberstalking Marshall in 2012. In February 2011, Marshall also applied for a civil order of protection against Darby, who was convicted of aggravated incest in Orleans Parish in 2001.
Efforts to reach Darby on Monday were unsuccessful.
Police have yet to name any suspects or potential motives in the case.