BIENVILLE, La. — Two brothers — both Louisiana fugitives accused of attempted murder in unrelated cases, were arrested together in Texas Friday, by U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. Combined, their bonds total more than $3 million.
When authorities captured Jeffrey V. Walker, 25 and Braxton Leonard, 20, sitting inside a vehicle at a Texas residence, authorities say they also found a weapon.
Walker, of Robinhood Drive in Springhill, is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. His total bond has been set at $1.3 million.
Marshals apprehended Walker this morning in Plano, Texas, via warrants for his alleged involvement in a July 7 shooting at a pool hall in Gibsland that left three people injured.
“Walker was identified as one of the shooters by witnesses and cell phone videos,” Bienville Sheriff John Ballance told KTBS Friday morning.
After leaving the pool hall, Walker allegedly shot into the back window of a vehicle that was occupied by two people at the intersection of state Highway 154 and Interstate 20 in Bienville Parish, according to Ballance. No injuries were reported in the second shooting.
Authorities believe both incidents to be gang-related and retaliation for social media remarks about Walker’s purported gang TTS.
Bienville Sheriff’s Office obtained warrants for Walker, shortly after the Gibsland incidents and immediately began attempts to locate him.
Walker is expected to be returned to Bienville Parish, where he will face charges in the Second Judicial District Court.
Authorities say more arrests could follow as investigators continue to piece together information related to the pool hall shooting.
On unrelated charges, Walker’s brother, 20-year-old Braxton Leonard, also of Springill, a fugitive from Webster Parish, was also apprehended by U.S. Marshal’s at the Plano residence.
In June, Leonard was released in error from Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center in Webster Parish. At the time of the error, he was being housed in lieu of a $1.75 million bond on charges of attempted murder, eight counts of illegal use of a weapon and three counts of aggravated criminal damage to property in connection to a 2018 shooting in the 800 block of Woods Street in Minden.
Bullets keep ringing out in Webster Parish municipalities, but police say no one wants to tell who’s pulling the trigger — and that “code” of silence is making it hard for law enforcement to remove the new thorn plaguing the area’s side.
The night silence in the parish seat of Minden and places like the Village of Cullen is being interrupted by the sounds of gunshots. Nearly every other night, shots can be heard in at least one of Minden’s black neighborhoods. Nearby Claiborne Parish is not exempt from the violence, as over the weeks, some of the random shootings have entered the streets of the town of Homer.
Gangs like TTS, which authorities believe may stand for (Trained to Shoot) instead of Trained to Step as cited by members of the group, are stirring dangerous chaos speared by shooting, according to authorities. The environments where these labeled, street gangs have taken up residency are showcasing a rise in crime rates by the bullet.
Sunday, the gunfire rolled into the neighboring parish of Bienville with random shooting at a pool hall left three bystanders wounded and investigators baffled, as pool hall goers remained tight lipped.
Two hours later gunshots erupted in Minden’s Jack Leary Quarters. Snitching violates the streets code of conduct, but those responsible for these shootings are breaking Louisiana’s law.
A May shooting on Woods Street in Minden, left one man hospitalized, after multiple gunshots interrupted the scene of a high school graduation after party. As detectives grappled with identifying shooters, party goers provided little insight to police.
While street life is known for casting out snitching, there is no statute of limitations on murder in the state of Louisiana.
Whether by gang initiation rites or warfare, often the bullets are not customized for a specific victim. Caught in between the crossfire and few happenstance arrests — juveniles and barely legal adults.
The possibility of the shootings being gang related went nearly unnoticed until several months ago, when local law enforcement agencies recognized an unusual pattern and spike in gun violence, triggering a public plea for help.
In June, during a Minden city council session, some Minden residents voiced concerns about the rash of shootings, but as of July the shootings surrounded by silent mouths and police frustrations continued.