Final suspect in Ferriday slaying arrested in Indiana

Published 12:12 am Friday, September 5, 2014

FERRIDAY The last suspect in a year-old Ferriday killing was arrested Wednesday night in Indiana.

Gary W. Anderson was stopped for a traffic violation in South Bend, Ind., Wednesday night and was arrested shortly after police uncovered multiple pending charges from the Ferriday Police Department including second-degree murder, FPD Interim Chief Derrick Freeman said.

Anderson was wanted in Ferriday in connection to the July 2013 death of Eric Johnson. Johnson died after spending days in an Alexandria, La., hospital after he was shot in the buttock near AutoZone on E.E. Wallace Boulevard.

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Ferriday Police arrested three other suspects — Benny White, Raymond R. Fleming Sr. and Moecke Hawkins — in connection with the case weeks after the shooting.

Freeman said Anderson was the last suspect in the case.

“This is a big deal for everyone, because we’ve been fighting tooth and nail to find this guy,” Freeman said. “This will be able to bring closure to Johnson and his family.”

Freeman said Anderson has several charges in Indiana, including check fraud, and others in Baton Rouge for parole violation, which could initially complicate the process to get him back to Ferriday to be tried on the shooting charges.

“We’re still waiting to see how everything with that will be handled, but he’s in custody now and that’s what matters,” Freeman said. “This should serve as a message to those in our area that we won’t tolerate these senseless shootings anymore.”

The shooting occurred shortly after 1 a.m. July 15, 2013, when a group of seven people, including Johnson, was leaving AutoZone.

Nine shots were fired at the group of seven — four hit the AutoZone building, one hit Johnson in the buttock and four missed completely.

Two of the rounds that hit the building penetrated AutoZone’s walls, triggering an alarm, which led police to the scene.

Johnson died July 22 at Rapides Regional Medical Center from his wounds.