An entire neighborhood searches for answers after 19-year-old Darren Smylie was found shot to death in his home Monday night. Relatives say the entire community has been shaken up by the killing.
James White chokes back tears as he talks about his little cousin, Darren. “It’s just upsetting,” he says. “He was a real nice guy, respectable. He worked a lot.”
White was working on his lawn mower yesterday, when something seemed wrong in his neighborhood. He saw Smylie’s father run across the street for help. “I seen him running from his house to his mama’s house, and I seen his mama running over there.”
Ascension Parish Sheriff’s deputies say Smylie’s father found him, dead, when he came home from work. The news shook the entire neighborhood. “People been taking this real bad,” he says. “They’re in an uproar.”
White says he’s lived in the subdivision his entire life. He’s never heard of something like this happening in that area. “I never thought something like that could happen, not here, especially in broad daylight.”
Normally, the neighborhood is pretty quiet. Residents say it’s a close-knit community where everybody is family. “In this neighborhood, it’s nothing but love,” he explains.
That’s what makes this crime so surprising. “It really scares me to know that people could right in your neighborhood, right next door, and just up and kill you, and you don’t even know what happened.”
Now, the whole community mourns the loss of a friend, and a family member. “He and my dad grew up together,” says White. “I can’t face his dad cause it touched my heart every time I think about it.”
Relatives say Smylie was arguing with someone just last week about a girl. They believe that argument may have had something to do with his death. Deputies say there are no motives in the shooting. They are still investigating.