Report from Louisiana: Dodging Gunfire in Shreveport, LA

Posted: January 2, 2023 by Pat Austin in Uncategorized
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By: Pat Austin

ARNAUDVILLE, LA – Each year my husband and I abandon Shreveport and go south for New Year’s. We actually come down here five or six times throughout the year but always at New Year’s. Shreveport sounds like a war zone all night long.

I’m fairly certain that my little northwest Louisiana city isn’t the only one with this problem. Shreveport has a population of about 180,000 so it’s not a great big city. In 2021 we had 100 homicides; we had 50-something in 2022 and multiple shootings. There is zero manufacturing; our jobs are in the public school sector, in the hospitals, and in gambling. The Shreveport/Bossier metro area has four aging casinos. If they go the city will implode.

Some see hope: voters ousted our inexperienced one-term Democrat mayor in favor of a Republican attorney who has been around for a long time. We will see what he can do. It won’t be easy.

On New Year’s Eve, Saturday night, we had one homicide which occurred during a carjacking and, nearby, while teenagers were doing donuts in their cars in an empty shopping center parking lot there was a terrible crash with multiple injuries. This parking lot nonsense happens every weekend and nothing is done. “At least they aren’t shooting people! It’s good clean fun,” they say. Until someone gets hurt.

This afternoon a local news anchor posted a photograph of literally handfuls of empty casings picked up off the street by a young lady in front of her grandmother’s house. One bullet came through someone’s roof and landed in the middle of someone’s living room. Gunfire exploded all over the city.

And people wonder why I want to move.

Down here in Cajun country the only gunfire we heard was someone shooting a deer. We spent New Year’s Eve at the local brewery listening to top Cajun musicians playing accordion, fiddle, and guitar and singing classics like D. L. Menard’s “The Back Door.” The teenagers played board games and went to bonfires. On New Year’s Day we were invited for pork roast, black eyed peas, cabbage and dirty rice at an old hole-in-the-wall bar over the levee on the Atchafalaya Basin. Everyone here is open and friendly and nobody is trying to kill anybody or waste perfectly good ammo firing it up into the air.

Life is easier here; happier. Genuine.

I’m returning to Shreveport on Monday afternoon, reluctantly, but I am hoping that by New Year’s 2024 I will be celebrating at my own home here in paradise and not dodging gunfire in Shreveport, Louisiana.

  1. BLSinSC says:

    We live in SC and have GREAT FRIENDS around Houma and Thibodaux and I’d have to agree with the great food and friendship of nearly EVERYONE down there! We’ve done Mardi Gras many times and a few Fourths of July and enjoyed awesome and ample food, drinks, music, and friendship! If you don’t have friends in Louisiana, I’d suggest very highly that you obtain some! And how do you do that?? Just go down to any small town and look for a bunch of people having fun and stop by – introduce yourself – and admit you’re from another state/city that is not friendly! You will most like be greeted with a beer and a plate!! And for sure, have a few six packs or pounds of shrimp in a cooler!