Nicholls Student Dies in Shooting Accident

By Marie Ory
Posted: 1/29/04

Laverne Charles, a former Nicholls student, was killed Wednesday, January 21, in a shooting incident.

Charles and his mother were driving a black SUV on Highway 90 in Des Allemands when two black males ran toward their vehicle. According to Larry Weidel, public information officer for Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office, the men were involved in a fight that had begun at the Lucky Seven Truck Stop and were running away from the incident.

One man allegedly jumped in the SUV and instructed Charles' mother to drive away. As this was taking place, the white males involved in the fight ran after the SUV. During this time, Gary Hebert Jr. allegedly ran to his residence nearby and retrieved his father's 30.06 rifle.

According to Weidel, Hebert then ran into the street and pointed the gun at the vehicle as it was driving away. He fired one shot at the rear of the vehicle. The bullet went though the rear window and struck Charles in the head. He was taken to St. Charles Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

Charles was a member of the Nicholls Lacrosse team. His teammates have dedicated this season to him.

"It was tough and I really do not know what to say. We dedicated the whole season to him, and with these two games being so close to his death, the way we played was really showing how much we cared for him because everybody played their hearts out," Joshua Sanders, creative writing sophomore from Baldwin, said.

Coach Billy Tauzin,III, said the team was giving a game ball to his parents. "That should not happen to anybody, and sometimes in life some of the worst things happen to some of the best people," Tauzin said.

Matthew Ford, mass communication senior from Houma, also reflected on the passing of Charles whom he called his best friend.

"He was there for me when things really got tough. He helped me though a lot by being a true friend. Barry was infectious, he made you want to be around him," Ford said.

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