3 charged in motel shooting

Published 8:50 am Monday, September 8, 2014

Shortly after 3 a.m. on Aug. 26, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of shots having been fired at the Sportsman’s Inn Motel, located on Louisiana Highway 21 south of Bogalusa.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers discovered that multiple shots had been fired at the occupants of a second floor room occupied by two California males and one Bogalusa female. There was evidence that as many as 32 shots had been fired in the direction of the room in which the three were staying. According to the Sheriff’s Office, there was no evidence of return gunfire from the motel room, and none of the occupants of the room were struck by the flying bullets.

Shots pierced the walls of several occupied areas of the motel, justifying warrants for attempted second-degree murder for the three men who were identified as the shooters. Although the men wore disguises, physical evidence at the scene, as well as later actions of the shooters, enabled officers to identify them.

One of the suspected shooters was wounded, with the shot apparently fired by one of his accomplices. According to a release from the Sheriff’s Office, evidence demonstrated that the shooter went up the stairs, fired one or more shots through the wall of the motel room and then attempted to flee back down the stairs. The release stated that as he turned from the room to flee, his alleged accomplices opened fire, with one of the shots striking the shooter in the stomach. He was able to continue down the stairs to the men’s waiting vehicle. The accomplices then drove directly to Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa, placed the wounded man in a wheelchair at the base of the emergency room ramp and fled.

Officers investigating the shooting went to the wounded man’s house on Dauphine Street to talk with family members. Upon arriving at the scene, officers noticed a young male acting in a suspicious manner. They confronted him and discovered a semi-automatic pistol concealed in his waistband. The officers arrested Ondre Bickham, 19, for being a juvenile in possession of a firearm. Bickham was placed in jail but later posted bond and was released.

Evidence at the house enabled officers to obtain a search warrant. The house was searched, and officers discovered a large amount of cocaine and eight weapons described as two SKS assault rifles, one M4 .223 rifle, two semi-automatic 9 mm pistols, one semi-automatic .380 pistol, one semi-automatic .40 caliber pistol and one .22 rifle.

A thorough investigation revealed the identities of the three alleged shooters, one of whom was Bickham, who had been previously arrested for possession of a firearm. Warrants were obtained for the arrests of the three shooters, who were identified as Jason Spikes, 29, a resident of Bogalusa, John Peters, 19, a resident of Angie, and Bickham, 19, a resident of Bogalusa. No arrest warrants were issued for the occupants of the motel room.

Peters was discovered late in the evening of Aug. 31 at a residence in the Angie community. He fought with officers before being subdued and transported to the Washington Parish Jail, charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of resisting an officer with force or violence and one count of attempted criminal damage to property. His bond was set at $225,000.

Bickham surrendered to the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. He is charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder, and bond was set at $225,000.

Spikes continues to recover in the hospital from a bullet wound. He will be arrested and placed in jail upon his release from the hospital. Spikes will be charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder, and bond will be set at the time of his arrest.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the motive for the shooting is not clear, but it appears to be drug related and perhaps in retaliation over the competing drug trade in the Bogalusa area. The investigation continues as officers collect evidence and facts for prosecution. More charges may be forthcoming.

“This entire scenario is outrageous and unacceptable,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “This is not the Wild West, and gun battles will not be tolerated. A quick investigation by our officers put these three shooters in jail where they belong. Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators will continue to investigate leads in this case and will make other arrests if necessary.”

Seal had more to say about the arrests.

“All evidence in this matter points to a turf war among drug dealers in the Bogalusa area,” Seal added. “Our officers will continue to be out in full force to combat the drug trade in Bogalusa and throughout the parish. They have already made three arrests and removed eight dangerous firearms from the community. Our officers will continue to work hard to protect the citizens of our parish and to arrest lawbreakers and put them in jail.”

Regarding the seized weapons, Seal said, “When I started working in law enforcement more than 30 years ago, street criminals might be armed with revolvers, which were known as Saturday Night Specials. That has changed. Most street criminals now are armed with semi-automatic pistols and assault rifles. This fact alone creates a danger factor for our officers. I ask the citizens of Washington Parish to continue to bathe our officers in prayer as they face potential danger daily in order to protect each of us.”