WEBSTER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Good, solid policing by Webster Parish detectives – that’s what Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton attributes to the homicide arrest in a Friday night fatal shooting in which neither the victim nor the suspect was known when the crime was discovered.
But through perseverance, deputies were able to identify the victim as 37-year-old Anthony John Bruns of Springhill and Logan Harmon Smith, 21, of Taylor, Arkansas, as the shooter.
Sexton said it began around 7 p.m. Friday, when Springhill police responded to reports of a deceased male’s body was found on the side of Percy Burns Road, just outside the Springhill city limits.
But when Springhill officers arrived at the scene, they realized it was not in their jurisdiction, so they called the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.
When WPSO deputies arrived at the scene they found a deceased white male who had suffered a gunshot wound, lying in a pool of blood. They soon determined the victim had been killed in another location and dropped on the road’s shoulder.
Sexton said investigators knew the location of the shooting was nearby, due to the amount of blood at the roadside, but they also knew the victim died instantly and was dead when he was dropped on the shoulder of Percy Burns.
At the time, WPSO deputies did not know the identity of the victim, nor did they have any leads on possible suspects.
“They started from scratch, and worked through the night,” the Sheriff said of the investigators. In the course of their investigation, which included viewing surveillance video from nearby cameras, detectives eventually were able to begin to put the pieces together.
Sexton said by the next day, the coroner had identified the body as Bruns, and detectives were able to identify the suspect as Smith. He added that Smith had some outstanding warrants in Springhill, so they were able to bring him in for questioning.
They also learned Bruns had been released from prison in April, having served a term for a narcotics conviction.
After his rights were read to him, Sexton said Smith confessed to shooting Bruns, but he did not disclose a motive, claiming he didn’t know the victim prior to the shooting.
Smith was booked into the Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center and charged with one count of second-degree murder. He is being held on $750,000 bond.