Police in Houma are searching for a suspect who shot and killed a deacon Sunday afternoon.
Police say a 17-year-old homeless boy, Leron Calloway, who police believe is armed and dangerous, is a person of interest in the case. He’s wanted for questioning in the shooting death of Connely Duplantis, a Catholic deacon who, shortly after giving out communion at Annunziata Church, was gunned down at his parent’s house.
“I just saw a person pass, and then I heard ‘Boom!’”
That’s Drussela Duplantis describing the moments leading up to her son Duplantis getting shot right outside her kitchen door Sunday.
“By the time I came there he was stretched out on the cement, blood all over the place. I washed his face, I cleaned his glasses, he just opened his eyes then closed it back.”
Police say the shooting happened in broad daylight. Around 1 p.m., the 66-year-old Duplantis had just finished lunch with his parents, and was putting his dog into his van, when several suspects came up from behind.
“As we are gathering information in the investigation right now it appears to be robbery,” said Houma Police Department Chief Todd Duplantis.
Ordained a deacon in 2006, Duplantis worked closely with the Catholic church, spending time ministering to youth in trouble or in jail.
“It is a terrible thing that after you spend an entire life serving others all of a sudden his life taken, senselessly,” said Louis Aguirre, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.
Before his dedication to the church, Duplantis served in the Navy. Married for four decades, Duplantis and his wife were about to celebrate their 42nd anniversary.
From his obituary:
He served in the Navy for four years as a medic, retired as respiratory therapist from Chabert Medical Center, he was an ordained Deacon of the Roman Catholic Church. He was involved in Prison Ministry. He was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was an avid gardener, who loved camping, fishing, cooking and enjoyed technology and computers. Connely was a loving husband, father, son, brother and friend who will be deeply missed by all that knew him.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Catholic Charities Prison Ministries.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him …
Pray for Deacon Connely, his family, and all those who love him. Pray, too, for the person who did this.
Lord, have mercy…