Teenager Sentenced to Life for Fatal Shooting at Graduation Party in Eunice
In 2021, a tragic shooting took the life of a "sweet" man and a father of six children while he was attending a graduation party in Downtown Eunice on June 6, 2021.
In 2022, 31-year-old Donovan Reed's accused killer - a then-14-year-old boy who had been reported as a missing/runaway - is looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars.
St. Landry Parish District Attorney Chad Pitre says the juvenile shooter was sentenced to juvenile life after being found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder for killing Reed. He also was found guilty of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder for wounding another adult, Troy Godfrey, and for the Illegal Carrying of a Firearm by a Juvenile.
Reed was shot once in the torso.
Godfrey was shot three times - once in each hand and once in the leg.
"The State presented sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally killed the victim, Donavon Reed." District Attorney Chad Pitre said. "My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Reed and hopefully this verdict will bring some amount of closure to them."
Last year, Larry and Veronica Reed issued a statement (found at KLFY.com) following their son Donovan's death. In it, they reveal the pain of losing their son and the frustration with the cycle of crime in their community:
Every morning when we wake up, we think about our son, Donovan. We have to remember that Donovan will not be in his chair at the table to enjoy a meal, to enjoy his relationship with his six beautiful children or to hear his sweet laughter at family gatherings. Our hearts skip a beat every time we wake up and face this new reality. We say a prayer that our beloved son does not miss us as much as we miss him.”
Since June 6th, 2021, we have to remind ourselves that life is still worth living. If not, we simply cannot begin our day. Words could never describe the pain/loss from losing a child. This tragedy hurts emotionally and physically to even make it to work or accept daily calls from friends/family. We so desperately want our life back prior to June 6th. The life we had before Donovan’s life was taken away.”
“To our community: Every citizen should be able to LIVE, work and play in their community free from fear of gun violence. Sadly at this time, shootings in Eunice are occurring more than ever before. Children are learning to carry and shoot guns rather than learning how to get a high school diploma and be successful in life. Our city is breeding younger people into perpetrators of this vicious cycle of violence that only creates losses to families.”
“NO parent should have to endure this suffering. Our elected officials and community leaders must do more to interrupt the cycles of community violence that leads to these senseless tragedies. NO one is exempt from gun violence. NO place is truly safe until an action plan exists to deter such violence.”
“On behalf of the Reed and Malveaux family, we ask our community to please respect our privacy as we continue to mourn our loss for our sweet boy. We are grateful for each and every one that has showered us with love and memories of Donovan. Lastly, we are asking our community to please share any information from that night with the proper authority in order to aid in justice for Donovan.