At first, Lamar Stiner thought the sound was fireworks. But as the “pop, pop, pop” sounded in close succession, he knew it was gunfire. He dove to the floor as four bullets pierced his bedroom window in the 200 block of Lilly Street.
Outside his home, Stiner said, he could hear a man say, “Don’t shoot me.” The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Thursday just as Stiner was settling in for bed. He estimated he heard between 20 and 30 shots.
“I usually look out the window, but something just told me don’t. When I heard the first [bullet] hit the window, I just dove out the bed and hit the floor because I knew somebody was shooting,” he said. “I heard the man hollering and that’s when I knew it was real.”
When the gunfire stopped, Stiner peeked out his living room window and saw an unknown man moving a bullet-ridden truck from across the street. The man left the truck parked askew with the engine running and the driver’s door flung open before fleeing in another vehicle. Stiner said he couldn’t catch the vehicle’s license plate number in the darkness.
When he walked outside, Stiner said he saw the victim lying facedown beside his front porch. The man was dead, lying in a pool of blood.
Hours later, the cries of the dead man’s family filled the street as family members gathered near the place where he died. It was a sharp contrast from the night before, when children across the street were enjoying fireworks and popping confetti poppers. The remnants of the fireworks remained strewn across the street Thursday morning.
“When I saw the mother, it broke me down. I had tears in my eyes because I lost my mother. I don’t know how she’s handling losing her son. I felt her pain. The sisters and brothers were all crying,” Stiner said.
The homicide on Lilly Street was the second fatal shooting in Lafayette Parish in a handful of hours.
Just after midnight about 10 miles north in Carencro, another man died after a shooting in the 200 block of Brockton Drive. He was pronounced dead at the hospital after he was driven there in a private vehicle, Carencro Police Chief David Anderson said.
Stiner said family members of the man killed in Carencro stopped by the scene on Lilly Street Thursday morning, originally thinking that’s where their loved one was killed.
Three suspects were apprehended by Lafayette officers in the Carencro shooting. The suspects — an adult man and two male juveniles — were pulled over when their vehicle was spotted in city limits, Anderson said. KATC reported weapons were recovered from the vehicle.
A 16-year-old was booked on a count of second-degree murder in the homicide, KATC reported. Other arrests were pending, Anderson said.
No one had been arrested in the Lilly Street shooting as of 10:30 a.m Thursday, Lafayette Police spokeswoman Cpl. Bridgette Dugas said.
Stiner said the dead-end street abutting Heymann Park is normally quiet, populated by older residents and a couple younger families. He’s lived on the block with his aunt for almost five years. His aunt, who’s in her 50s, was spending the night in Lake Charles for the Fourth of July when the shooting happened, he said.
The 35-year-old said he thinks the shooting was spurred by a dice game happening at a neighbor’s house.
Stiner said he hopes neighbors’ surveillance cameras caught enough details of the vehicle and suspect for police to make an arrest. He also encouraged anyone who knows about the shooting to step forward.
“A man is gone. Someone lost their son, brother, father. It’s very important that if people know something to let somebody know,” he said.