GONZALES — Investigators have recovered five handguns outfitted with magazines of 30 to 50 rounds used in the April 24 shootout in Darrow that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old man, authorities said.
A handgun typically might have 12 rounds, Ascension Parish Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Bacala said Wednesday. “These are magazines with a huge capacity.”
Witnesses to the encounter between two groups of men that ended in gunfire had described to detectives seeing guns with huge magazines jutting out some 10 to 12 inches from the bottom of the handguns, Bacala said.
He said detectives still expect to recover some type of assault weapon, like a semi-automatic AK-47. Shell casings from such a weapon were found at the scene.
Seven men have been booked on counts of second-degree murder in the incident, which happened during daylight in a quiet rural area.
Bacala said the investigation remains ongoing. Detectives are continuing to “get information in bits and pieces” and adding to what they already have, he said.
“Until the information is complete, we don’t know what we’re going to find,” he said after the last of the seven suspects had been incarcerated Wednesday.
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley has described the incident as an orchestrated, retaliatory shootout during which nearly 50 shots were fired across the street from Hopeful Baptist Church, where Bible study was underway.
The incident began when a group of men approached a smaller group of about four to five men standing in a driveway off Brown Extension Street. An argument broke out, followed by shots.
Isaac “Ike” Prestley, 39035 Saturn Drive, Darrow, who was part of the smaller group, died at a hospital after being shot in the hip.
Four men were arrested and booked on second-degree murder and other counts in the immediate aftermath of the incident, all being held at Ascension Parish Jail in lieu of bail set at $1 million or more: father and son Demitoris “Big Tachi” Alexander, 48, 146 E. 26th St., Gonzales, and Tachi Williams, 28, 1222 E. Grace St., Gonzales; Clarence Ruth, 19, 5274 Galaxy Blvd., Darrow, and Cprien Nicholas, 29, 729 Worthey St., Gonzales.
The Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that it was looking for three other men and by Wednesday all were in custody.
One of them, Anthony Clark, 23, 205 E. Roosevelt St., Gonzales, surrendered at the Ascension Parish Jail outside of Donaldsonville late Tuesday night.
Also on Tuesday night, Delano “Deeky” Joseph Alexander, 28, 150 E. 26th St., Reserve, surrendered at the Sheriff’s Office in Gonzales, with his lawyer present.
On Wednesday morning, detectives arrested the third wanted suspect, Bruce James, 25, 1222 Hempshire Drive, Gonzales, at a residence in Gonzales.
The three men are being held at the Ascension Parish Jail. Bond had not yet been set by Wednesday afternoon.