GRAND COTEAU, La. — A few citizens of Grand Coteau are fearing gun violence. In fact, an 83-year-old woman found a bullet in her freezer.
Bessie Smith thought there was a moth on her fridge, but when she wiped it Thursday morning, she quickly learned that someone had shot through her house.”
“They found the bullet on the bottom of the freezer,” recalled Smith when police arrived at her home.
She has lived in Grand Coteau her whole life, but recently her home sweet home has shown a bitter side at night.
“When they shot, I was being in the bed,” remembered Smith. “I just turned over because I don’t want to be hit by a bullet.”
The bullet entered just outside her bedroom and ricocheted behind her favorite seat before lodging in her freezer. It was a wakeup call for her daughter, Marvelle Smith.
“To be innocent in your house doing what you need to do and get a bullet? That don’t make no sense,” said Marvelle
“That’s why I said it’s a scary thing,” agreed Bessie.
They’re both concerned their local police department isn’t doing enough to end the shootings, but Grand Coteau Police Chief Wilton Guidry disagreed.
“We don’t really have a bad crime rate in Grand Coteau,” stated Guidry. “I’m not going to label bad. Every once and while we may have something, but no. No.”
Chief Wilton has led the Grand Coteau Police Department for 10 years and with only one recorded homicide. He says three officers patrol each night, with a response time between one to three minutes, and they work closely with Sunset PD to often double their patrolling efforts between departments.
“I’ve been trying, and I ain’t going to stop. We’re just going to put more people out there,” Guidry told News 10. “We’re going to run these streets.”
Guidry said he’s made arrests. Although getting there requires people to talk and a judge to convict, he doesn’t want people like Bessie Smith to worry.
“She’s safe, and we’re still investigating. We’re going to get to the bottom of this one,” stated Guidry.
The Smith’s just hope all the holes in the investigations are cleared up soon.
As Bessie Smith said, “This is my lifestyle, and they’re disturbing it.”
The family said they are thankful for the extra patrols but worry about what will happen when they are gone. They’re glad the shooting wasn’t worse, but they fear it’s a matter of time before something happens to them or someone else.