Church Point murder suspect
During a news conference Tuesday morning, Acadia Parish Sheriff Wayne Melancon, along with Church Point Police Chief Albert Venable and Det. Jeff Stewart, revealed the details surrounding the first murder in many years in Church Point.
Church Point Police Chief Albert Venable contacted the sheriff’s office early Sunday morning requesting assistance in the investigation of the homicide that occurred several hours earlier.
According to Melancon an investigator from his office, upon questioning witnesses, identified the shooter as Jonathan Citizen, 29, of Martin Luther King Street in Church Point.
As a result of the investigation, law enforcement learned the suspect first appeared Saturday evening around 8:30 p.m. at a birthday party on Martin Luther King Drive.
Citizen allegedly drove to the residence where he struck a guest of the party in the face and left the scene.
The attack and motive for the shootings may have centered on a dispute over a set of tires, said Sheriff Melancon.
Approximately three hours later, Citizen drove by the residence and discharged a firearm in the direction of a crowd gathered in the front yard of the residence. One person received injuries to his leg and the area above his right eye.
Citizen reportedly then fled in the vehicle he was driving. The driveby shooting was reported to the Church Point Police Department who began a search for Citizen.
Citizen returned to the site of the birthday party a third and final time three hours later, on foot armed with a 22 cal. rifle.
Witnesses reported Citizen approached the residence from the side of the house and began shooting.
A male subject was struck and received injuries to his leg and shoulder.
Another man, identified as Paul Reginald Landry, 43, of West Point Road, Church Point, approached Citizen and asked him to stop shooting.
Citizen then fired seven times at Landry, striking him in his chest, back and head.
Landry was pronounced dead at the scene by the Acadia Parish Coroner’s Office.
Chief Albert Venable said he received a phone call with information that Citizen was seen in the Opelousas area. Chief Venable contacted the Opelousas Police Department, and officers arrested Citizen without incident at a Opelousas nightclub.
Jonathan Citizen was returned to Acadia Parish where he was placed in the Parish Jail and charged with second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and second-degree battery.
District Judge Kristian Earles set bond at $1,000,015.
The investigation is continuing.