12/31/06: As reported on KPLC-TV:
Just days before he was to take office, the body of Westlake Mayor-Elect Gerald Washington was found outside the old Mossville High School on Old Spanish Trail. According to authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, the 9-1-1 call came in at 9:49 p.m. from a motorist passing the school who said they saw a body on the ground of the parking lot.
Calcasieu Sheriff’s crime scene investigators arrived and found the body of a black male with a single gun shot wound. The body was later identified as Washington. The Calcasieu Coronor’s Office is performing an autospy to determine the cause of death.
Westlake City Councilmen Bob Hardey and Danny Cupit were notified and came to the scene. Both say they had spoken to Washington the day before and recall him being excited about taking office.
“It was a total shock to everyone. We are a newly-elected bunch and “Wash” was going to be taking office on Tuesday,” said Hardey. “We’re missing a good friend and hopefully we’ll get through this.”
“It’s Really hard to believe. It’s a tremendous shock. We were looking forward to the next four years. I think we all had a good chemistry between the city council and the new mayor,” said Cupit.
The City Council is now looking at the next step to appoint a new mayor. They say they have three options: Elect a mayor pro-temp; Governor Kathleen Blanco could appoint one; or outgoing Mayor Dudley Dixon could remain in office until a special election could be held. Hardey says they plan to have a meeting on Tuesday to discuss all options.
There are conflicting reports regarding whether or not Washington had already assumed the office of mayor. KLFY reported that Washington was to be sworn in January 1st; KALB reported that Washington had taken the oath of office on December 19th.
This is also worth noting. From KLFY’s report:
Outgoing mayor, Dudley Dixon, who chose not to run for re-election, says Washington was an experienced member of the city council who worked for the betterment of everyone regardless of their color.
Dixon says this is a community that is 80% white and it overlooked the prejudice of race and put the man that was best fit for the job into that position. He says everyone hoped everything was going to work out for the town and unfortunately, he has been taken away.
funny that the words “…are investigating the murder and looking for suspects” isn’t anywhere in this story.
It also seems strange that “the coroner is performing an autopsy to determine the cause of death” comes one line below ‘lying on the ground with a single gunshot wound’.
I know they have to do this and that another cause of death is possible, but it still seems odd to read that.
Is this the same man who had a cross burned in his yard after being elected?
According to the latest reports the guy shot himself. Weird!
This Stinks to high heaven, the FBI had Better be ON this, because it REEKS of foul-play.
You bunch of paraniod fruit loops. The man killed himself. The police were trying to save the family the embarrassment of having the reason he killed himself from entering the community. Now that the state police are involved it will all come out. I hope you idiots know how to spell, “SORRY.”
This is ridiculous. After 24 years of the same WHITE mayor, they elect G. Washington who most dumb ass people would think it’s George Washington’s cousin, come to find out he’s a black man. He was murdered, anyone can see that. He was making arrangements for himself, and his future. People that commit suicide dont do things in an open parking lot. People who kill people do. Why shoot yourself in the chest…how dumb of a suicide is that. Why not off yourself in the head! That’s a reason for suspicion..these toy cops in this city know what’s up and they will protect the innocence and rule it out because they don’t want to be on anyone’s side. It was deifnately an assisination, people have to GET OVER IT! Get over it and release the evil that resides inside of them. This suicide talk is BULLSHIT. Why order letterhead if you plan on killing yourself, it can wait. Why go through the first day of work? Why not just do it before all of that.
Thank you,Naomi you must be up on the facts. this is tragic and I am so devestated by it. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I live here in Westlake and I’m white. I wish and hope pray some agency has to find the truth and killer/s.This wonderful full of life black was somehow forced or thru close contact killed, maybe by his own gun. But that is very probable. What is wrong with this coroner we have. What a horrible shame this happening in this century.
Unfortunately, the man killed himself. Bringing in the state police is going to open up this family’s secrets to the world. His children couldn’t accept that it was a suicide because it affected how much insurance money they would get. They wanted to believe it was a homicide – a hate crime. The man apparently was in deep trouble with gambling debt, other women, and children his family knew nothing of.
You,Ciji are so wrong. You need research your facts or go back in the hole you came from.
I think it is a darn shame that people still in the south are as ignorant as ever. This is obvious a murder. The only reason the coroner and sheriff’s dept. can’t see it is because they are covering something up, like MURDER. Ciji don’t bother coming out of your hole ever again no one needs racist people in the real world.