BREAKING: Bullets cause concern at Ruston softball game

By Judith Roberts

A Ruston High vs. Benton softball game at the Ruston Sports Complex was interrupted Tuesday night after bullets came down in the Benton dugout. 

No one was injured during the event, which was postponed for 15 minutes; Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker and Sheriff Stephen Williams said they believe the incident came after shots were fired in the air at random — and what comes up must come down.

“We have determined that (the gun went off) south of Tennessee (Avenue),” Walker said. “There were shots in the air, and one came down in the dugout of Benton. No one was hurt.”

Williams said the case is being worked by Ruston Police Department and assisted by LPSO. 

“We had an SRO (Student Resource Officer) at the field when it happened,” Williams said. “We had units who responded and even units in Jackson Parish. They are not really sure where the shots may have come from – they think maybe in Jackson Parish. There was a guy…who heard shots and said they were pretty distant.” 

Williams added that he believed the incident, while scary, was a careless operation of a firearm. 

“I don’t think it was a targeted deal,” he said. “I think it was reckless use of a firearm. Our guys are scouring the nearby areas, and we’ll continue to work it…Thank God no one was hit.” 

The bullet was recovered. Walker said there were reports of a similar incident earlier in the week.  

“People can shoot guns in the parish,” Walker said. “Unfortunately, this one came down.” 

Ruston High School principal Dan Gressett wasn’t at the game due to another obligation, but said he was in constant contact with his administrators on site.

“Our administrator on duty, Katie Walker, called me immediately and told me what was going on,” said Gressett. “We had a SRO on duty and I had her call the Ruston Police Department as well. The game was suspended until authorities could determine there was no threat.

“There was a 15-20 minute delay while they investigated and then they gave us the go ahead to resume. Coach (Jerrod) Baugh was out there shortly after it happened, and he and I were in contact with each other as I was at another sporting event. It’s an unfortunate incident but thankfully no one was harmed.”

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