The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call just after 8:30 p.m. Deputies who went to the store learned that three armed people wearing masks entered the store and demanded cash from the register.
When the store clerks were unable to open the register, shots were fired at them, according to Detective Mike Perry. The clerks were unharmed. The three masked people then took the register from the counter and fled south on King Boulevard.
Witnesses told investigators the masked people entered a burgundy SUV, which then was driven into the Ville Platte city limits.
Detective Perry, Mike Hidalgo and Lt. Jeremy Mitchell found shell casings at the store, as well as bullet fragments. They also viewed video surveillance that showed the robbery taking place and showed the clothing the three masked people were wearing.
The Saturday after the robbery, a mask worn by one of the gunmen was found in the neighborhood behind the store. The next Tuesday, February 19, the sheriff’s department received information that a possible suspect in the robbery was in Ville Platte. Detectives went to Jefferson Street in Ville Platte and took Johnathon Antoine, 19, into custody.
Detectives learned that Antoine was the driver of the SUV spotted by witnesses after the robbery. Investigators then found that Jordon Harris also drove the same SUV at the time of the robbery.
Investigators found the SUV, searched it, with the permission of Antoine’s family. The SUV was later returned to the family.
The investigation revealed that Jordan Harris, Leeon Fontenot and Issac Thomas Jr., all from Ville Platte, were also involved in the armed robbery.
Harris was later taken into custody with assistance from the Ville Platte Police Department. Harris confirmed Antoine’s statements to investigators.
Leeon Fontenot was taken into custody on February 21. Fontenot, Antoine and Harris were booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on armed robbery and two counts of attempted first degree murder.
As of February 21, Thomas was still at large and was actively being pursued by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office with the help of the Ville Platte City Police Department. A warrant for Thomas’ arrest was issued for armed robbery and two counts of attempted first degree murder and he has been entered into the national database as being wanted and to be considered armed and dangerous.
The public is asked if they have any information on Isaac Thomas Jr., to please contact the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-363-2161.