French Quarter:— Relatives, neighbors and friends of the Flanders family are in total shock, and distraught at the way their relative Latoya Flanders was brutally shot several times leaving her dead at her doorsteps. The fatal shooting took place on Fish Pot Road Quartier d’ Orleans around 5:45pm.
Eyewitnesses at the scene told SMN News that the young woman had just reached home and it appeared as though the gunmen were either waiting on her or were following her. The bystanders said as soon as the young woman stepped out of her jeep to enter her home she was riddled with gunshots. They said that they saw two persons, one dressed totally in black while the other had one a white tee-shirt.
After the brutal murder the shooters escaped by running away. It is not known if the killers had a car waiting on them somewhere in the vicinity, but according to bystanders there the men that shot Latoya Flanders were on foot.
Several Gendarmes were at the scene along with forensic investigating when SMN News reporter arrived there. Commandant of the Gendarmerie Sebastien Manzoni told SMN News that the victim received several gunshots causing her to die on the spot.
Asked if the investigators had any idea as to who shot the young woman to death? Manzoni said they just started the investigation and they are unable to say anything at this point in time.
Some of the relatives were seen sitting outside screaming as they try to cope with what had happened before their eyes and at their door steps.
The Commandant of the Gendarmerie also said that the Gendarmes are having a very hard time working in French Quarter. Manzoni said twice this week residents of French Quarter blocked the Gendarmes and created a scene while the patrols were on their way to investigate other cases. He called on the community to allow the Gendarmes to do their work since they are the ones that have to work on crime prevention.
Close relatives of slain woman identified her as 31 year old Latoya Flanders, the owner of True 2 True Car Rental. One of the relatives said that Latoya was at her French Quarter home speaking on the phone when someone they identified as “Greg” came to the house and called her.
The relative said that the person claimed he went there to pay Flanders some money for vehicle he rented from her. However, the relatives are calling on the Gendarmes to arrest that person because they are of the opinion that this person knows much more than he is telling the family and the Gendarmes.
“This man says he was there to pay Latoya $300.00 which was found but he was sitting next to her on the steps for over an hour speaking. The way it looks is that he went there to keep her outside so that the gunman would meet his target when he arrived at the house. The family said that the gunman fired several shots, and while Greg was sitting next to her not one of the shots hit him or even grazed him, he told us that five shots were fired and the shooter missed Latoya with the first three shots.
He also said when the gunman began firing shots he jumped a fence and ran away. I need to know how he managed to jump that fence because it’s a very high fence. Another witness who saw the gunman told us the gunman was wearing a black tee-shirt and he had on a straw hat on his head without any mask, this person said he was there to take care of his vehicle and he saw when the gunman took the gun out from his left side waist and placed it on the right side of his waist. That other person also told us that the gunman did not have on any mask and that the person that was sitting next to her had to see the shooter’s face.”
Another relative also confirmed that Latoya and Greg was sitting outide her door for a very long time because another cousin passed them there sitting and even told them he was coming back to meet with them but before he got back the shooting had already taken place.
The relatives said that if Greg was not part of the plot to have Latoya killed then he would have to explain why did he ran away alongside the gunman who ran towards the coconut trees in that area.
“The gunman was wearing black while Greg had on a white tee-shirt and he was seen running from the scene. We cannot say Greg is involved in this because he has been doing business with Latoya for a very long time but he needs to come clean and tell the Gendarmes what he knows and even identify the killer because the shooter did not have on a mask. Besides that the shooter fired several shots and when Latoya fell to the ground the gunman walked up to her and shoot her in the head. This is someone that came to kill.”
Asked if the family knew if Latoya had problems with anyone that might have led to her murder the relatives said they do not have any information about that and they themselves are struggling to find out why someone wanted her dead. Her distraught mother said she got the news while leaving her job.
She said when her landlord called her to inform her she was still in doubts about it and all she did was sat on a bench in front of the Bank of Nova Scotia. She said even called several persons to find out if it was true that her daughter was shot because she simply could not believe what she was told.
The woman said when she reached home Greg and the other eye witness personally spoke to her but she too is of the opinion that Greg saw more and he needs to give the gendarmes the information they needed to find the cold blooded killer.
Latoya Flanders originated from Sucker Garden but has been living with her mother in French Quarter for a number of years, she leaves to mourn her parents, and three siblings.