On Friday, September 1, 2023, about 3:30 p.m., the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Carrollwood Drive and Afton Court in LaPlace in reference to a disturbance involving several individuals, with a gun having been fired, and a male subject with a gun fleeing the area on foot. Upon arrival in the area, officers were unable to locate any of the individuals who may have been involved in this incident.

Subsequently, the SJSO received a report from a detail officer at Walmart in LaPlace of a male subject with a gun in the store’s parking lot. Within moments, officers arrived at the store and observed several individuals exiting a vehicle in the parking lot and running into the store. Officers immediately responded, entering the store, and they conducted a walk-through of the building. Based on investigation and surveillance video, officers verified there was not an active shooter in the store.

Officers located in the store’s bathroom a suspect, later identified as a 17-year-old male from Reserve, described as the male with a gun who fled the area of Carrollwood Drive and Afton Court. Officers located a gun on the juvenile’s person. He was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile (felony). The juvenile was released September 1, 2023.

During the course of the investigation, officers discovered that a female fired a gun during the fight near Alfton Court in LaPlace. The female, identified as Wendy Chatman, 39, of LaPlace admitted to discharging a firearm during the fight. No one was injured.

Chatman was arrested and charged with illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities – weapons law violation and aggravated criminal damage to property (felony). She was released September 2, 2023.