Deputies say argument over cigarette butts leads to shooting
Chris Miller Reporting
A 44-year-old Westbank man is under arrest following a shooting on Mother's Day that investigators believe was prompted by a long-running dispute over cigarette butts. The 45-year-old victim, Paul Hunter, is in critical condition.
"Our officers responded to reports of a disturbance and shots fired at 2700 Whitney Avenue in Harvey," said Col. John Fortunato of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office. "Second District Patrol Officer Judd Harris arrived on the scene an discovered an individual identified as Damon Boullt in possession of the handgun. Harris ordered Boullt to drop the weapon, which he complied. Boullt told Harris that he shot the victim after he kicked open the door of his apartment."
According to investigators, Boullt and his apartment complex neighbors had been involved in an ongoing feud over the disposal of cigarette butts. Boullt claimed his upstairs neighbors had been dropping the refuse to a patio in front of his apartment.
Col. Fortunato reports things got particularly heated yesterday when "the incident escalated from...a verbal altercation into a physical one...resulting in Paul Hunter’s mother being struck with a metal pole."
Although the woman was not seriously hurt, Fortunato says it was enough to prompt Hunter to leave his residence three-and-a-half miles away and come to the apartment complex. He says that's when Boullt claims he feared Hunter was seeking vengeance.
Fortunato says Boullt became aware Hunter was on his way over, and went inside his apartment, locked the door, and armed himself with a .45 caliber pistol. Investigators say Boullt claimed that Hunter forced his way into the apartment, but fled once he saw Boullt aiming the handgun at him. Detectives say Boullt then chased after Hunter. When Hunter slipped and fell in the parking lot, investigators say Boullt shot Hunter several times.
Hunter's family took him to a nearby hospital, which transferred him to University, where he was listed in critical condition.
Deputies arrested Boullt on count of attempted second degree murder.