A Lafayette family and their friends and neighbors were left shaken and struggling to understand after a dispute between a father and son in a quiet residential community turned deadly on the eve of Father’s Day weekend.
Tristian Lafauci, 23, is accused of fatally shooting his father, 44-year-old Leo Lafauci, on Friday evening after what police described as a domestic disturbance. The shooting happened in Lafayette’s Broadmoor neighborhood at a home on the corner of Alice and Empire drives.
Lafayette Police spokeswoman Cpl. Bridgette Dugas said officers arrived at the home in the 200 block of Alice Drive around 5:45 p.m. Friday, after Tristian Lafauci fled the scene on foot. The elder Lafauci was taken to the hospital, where he died; the younger Lafauci was later apprehended and accused of killing him.
Tristian Lafauci was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail on a count of second-degree murder after being treated at a hospital for minor injuries, Dugas said. Online jail records show he was booked into the parish jail around 11 p.m. Friday night.
Family friend Christy Couvillier said Lafauci family members are still absorbing the news. Couvillier was at the Lafaucis' home Saturday morning, preparing to clean up blood and other signs of the recent violence so the couple’s children wouldn’t be further traumatized when they came to collect their belongings.
Blood was smeared across the home’s white side door and splattered on the concrete driveway, a stark contrast to the “In God We Trust” motto affixed to the top of the door. Couvillier said shooting took place at the carport and an inside hallway.
Police officers could be seen at the home after nightfall Friday, collecting evidence from the carport and photographing the scene. The tan brick home is tucked a block off Johnston Street, behind the Max Auto Sales used car lot and a strip shopping center.
Couvillier said she’s known the family for six or seven years. She and the elder Lafauci’s wife, Stacy, met and became close — more like sisters than friends — after their 12- and 11-year-old sons became best friends at school. Couvillier said she’s the godmother of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, she said.
She said Stacy and Leo Lafauci have five children — 14-year-old, 12-year-old, 10-year-old and 3-month-old sons and a 2-year-old daughter. Leo Lafauci also had three adult sons from a previous marriage, including the 23-year-old Tristian.
Couvillier said she never knew of disputes between the two Lafauci men. She said Leo Lafauci’s older sons were raised with their half-siblings, and the blended family was close. She said the younger children are grappling with the loss.
“They’re in shock. They lost their father and their big brother in a second,” she said.
Neighbors on Alice Drive shared Couvillier’s shock, saying the family largely kept to themselves and they never heard shouting or anything amiss coming from the home.
Trudie Woods, who lives a block from the Lafauci home, said most neighbors weren’t aware a shooting had occurred until news began to trickle through the neighborhood’s Facebook group and text messages about 30 minutes after the shooting. She, her husband and son congregated outside with other neighbors as police worked the scene Friday night, trying to determine what had happened to their neighbors.
Woods said their section of the single-family home neighborhood is filled with many longtime renters and residents. Aside from occasional minor thefts, she said, the worst crime the neighborhood sees is speeding and people running stop signs.
“It’d incredibly odd. It’s very out of character for this to happen in this area. All neighborhoods have their problems, but we’ve never seen anything like this,” Woods said.
Couvillier, who also lives in the Broadmoor neighborhood, said the Lafaucis are temporarily staying with her family while they get back on their feet. She and other neighbors are arranging a meal train for the family and Couvillier set up a donation page on the mobile payment app Venmo to benefit the family. A GoFundMe has also been set up.
“She lost her husband and her child. She shouldn’t be left with the burden of having to worry about money or food when she should be focused on comforting her other children,” Couvillier. “I feel so helpless. Cleaning up is probably the only thing I can do.”
Records show that Tristian Lafauci was booked on an outstanding fugitive warrant related to an August 2015 marijuana possession arrest. The warrant was issued when Lafauci failed to appear in court, but the possession charge was dismissed in May 2017. According to online court records for the 15th Judicial District Court, the fugitive warrant was never rescinded.
His bond for the second-degree murder count was set at $250,000, according to online booking records.
Friday’s fatal shooting marks the third reported patricide in Lafayette in six months.