St. Landry

Mar 3, 2014 3:23 PM by Dave Fields

Parents of Opelousas 5-year-old set up account to pay med, funeral expenses

The parents of the 5-year-old boy shot in his front yard in Opelousas Thursday night have set up an account to accept donations to help pay for the cost of their son's medical and burial expenses.

Those who wish to donate to the beneficiary account for Jon'qualon Pitre should enter or drive-through any Teche Federal location and deposit funds into account 22721997.

Benjamin Gaines and Shawndree Pitre told KATC that the ordeal has been traumatic for the entire family, but that they are coping.

"We're fine. We're trying to be strong for our other three kids," said Jon'qualon's mother. Her other children are ages 7, 3, and 2 months.

"It hurts. We try not to let our kids see," she added, noting that their other kids still ask about their brother.

"He's in heaven now. He's an angel and he's watching over us," she said she explained to them.

After being taken off of life support, Jon'qualon Pitre's organs were removed and donated. Opelousas Police Chief said that Pitre suffered a gunshot wound from a weapon placed at "point-blank range" of the boy's head. Gallow said that current evidence points toward only the five-year-old and his seven-year-old brother being present in the yard when the shot was fired.

Gallow added that the gun has been brought in for processing to determine any fingerprints or DNA. A 16-year-old originally had been brought into custody for questioning in the incident, but he since has been cleared of all charges.

The investigation into the shooting continues.


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