CLINTON, La. (AP) — A Boy Scout employee was shot and killed Monday near the Louisiana camp where he worked, the fourth shooting in the area since July, officials said.
Brad DeFranceschi, 48, was shot multiple times about 11:15 a.m. Monday in front of his house on camp property, East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Jeff Travis said at a news conference.
DeFranceschi is the fourth middle-aged or older white man to be shot since July in the area, but investigators don’t know if the shootings are related. The earlier shootings occurred within 25 miles (40 kilometers). Two were fatal.
“We don’t want to create any defense by putting out publicly a theory which may or may not be right,” East Feliciana Parish Chief Deputy Greg Phares said.
Local media report that the FBI has been asked to help investigate.
The three other men also were shot at their homes or on their property. Those killed were Thomas Bass, 62, on July 8, and Carroll Breeden, 66, on Sept. 19. Buck Hornsby, 47, was wounded Sept. 12, 10 miles (16 kilometers) down Louisiana Highway 63 from DeFranceschi’s home.
Breeden, a former Baton Rouge parks official, and Hornsby both were near a road, but whoever killed Bass would have come up onto his property to do so, Travis said.
The Avondale Scout Reservation website lists DeFranceschi as a camp ranger — someone who maintains the camp. The camp is outside Clinton, about 29 miles (47 kilometers) north of Baton Rouge.
“He was the face of Avondale,” Nolan Reynerson, 34, who has worked and volunteered with Boy Scouts for much of his life, told The Advocate .
He said DeFranceschi had worked there for 17 years and was a community cornerstone: “He put a smile on and wore his uniform proudly and was there for every event.”
Reynerson said DeFranceschi went beyond maintenance of the 1,600-acre campground, volunteering with his son’s and daughter’s scout troops, and used his experience as a Navy submarine cook to transform the camp food, improving the meals and opening a fruit and salad bar.
“He’s become a staple in the camp,” Reynerson said. “He did whatever was needed, whether it was fixing something at the camp, teaching kids merit badges … he was willing.”