Shooting takes place during Cotton Valley “trail ride”, alleged shooter now in custody

A violent shooting took place late Saturday night leaving three victims injured after a trail ride spiraled into a party that got out of control. One of the victims was critically injured as a result of the shooting and was then transported to LSU. The other two victims were seriously injured but stable.

Compounding the tragedy of the shooting was the number of unregulated factors surrounding the trail ride. This event did not have the proper permits and, as a result, errors were made in planning. With no oversight from local municipalities, either on the city level or parish level, the trail ride was held in a location that was difficult for emergency responders to get to. There was no regulation of the flow of traffic, further impeding emergency responders from accessing the victims quickly. 

“They’ve been having trail rides inside the city but this one was obviously bigger than what it was supposed to have been,” said Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker. “The individuals hosting this event did not obtain a permit through the city or police jury. Deputies responding to the incident had difficulty getting down to the location and being able to see if anyone else needed assistance. This was a worst case scenario.” 

The trail ride was taking place near the end of Crow Street in Cotton Valley. Attendees were being charged to get into the event. 

The Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office worked alongside Louisiana State Police and the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office when responding to the incident. Shell casings and guns were recovered from the crime scene, and the sheriff’s office is currently working to find everyone responsible, not only for the shooting, but also for skirting around proper procedure to host this event. 

“We’re conducting interviews, we’re collecting evidence, data, license plates, licenses of those that attended, everything that we can to prevent this in the future,” said Parker.  

“I don’t want to discourage people from having a good time, and I hate that this happened, but this is the reason the permit was put in place, because someone has to remain accountable. For anyone who wants to host similar events to these in the future, sliding through the cracks or trying to cut corners, those days are over.”

“We at the sheriff’s office are not only responsible for the citizens of the parish, but anyone that comes in to enjoy something like this. As far as me and my office are concerned, we will not leave any stones unturned until we find those responsible for the shooting and those responsible for hosting this event without doing it the proper way.”

Currently this incident is still under investigation. The Minden Press-Herald will provide an update to this story as more information becomes available throughout the course of the investigation. 

Monday afternoon the alleged shooter was put into custody by the WPSO and has been identified as Kentrail Cornelius “Turtle.” He was arrested on the charges og illegal use of a weapon and their bond is currently set at $150,000.

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