Four Fort Polk soldiers arrested, charged in possible gang-related shooting
Four soldiers assigned to Fort Polk, La., were arrested and charged Monday in connection with a shooting in the nearby town of DeRidder that police believe could be related to recent gang activity, according to local law enforcement and base officials.
The DeRidder Police Department received multiple calls at about 11:25 p.m. Monday about shots being fired on West 8th Street, a mostly residential area in the town about 20 miles from Fort Polk. When police arrived, they said they found one person who was injured trying to escape gunfire by climbing out a window.
Witnesses gave police a description of a vehicle, which was located later that night in Leesville, the town just outside the gates of Fort Polk. The four soldiers were in the vehicle at the time and arrested, according to police.
Police also found five weapons in the vehicle and spent shell casings that matched those found at the scene. Police did not provide further details about the incident.
Pfc. Quazier T. Watterson, 19, Pfc. Trevian J. Cherry, 23, Spc. Joshua D. Galloway VI, 24, and Pfc. Tavon M. Williams, 19, were all charged with criminal conspiracy to commit attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal use of weapons or other dangerous instrumentalities and aggravated criminal damage to property, according to the DeRidder police and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Each of the soldiers was listed Thursday as an inmate at Beauregard Parish Jail with no bond set. They all are assigned to Fort Polk’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, base officials confirmed.
“The U.S. Army Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk leadership are working with local authorities and ensuring the soldiers are receiving due process,” Fort Polk said in a statement.
Police said they believe Monday’s shooting is related to a shooting on Sept. 11 at the same residence that involved gangs. Two juveniles were arrested in Leesville earlier Monday who were involved with the Sept. 11 shooting.