A Kentwood, La., man said he took a bullet apparently meant for someone else in an attempt to save a woman from gunfire that ended up wounding them both after a high school football game Friday night.
Robert Trout Jr., 24, has a bullet lodged in his right armpit and doctors aren’t removing it, saying it may be too risky to do so.
Trout said the shooting took place on Avenue H — 31⁄2 blocks away from Kentwood High School, where the Kangaroos were in the fourth quarter of a football game against the South Pike Eagles — at about 9:30 p.m.
He said he was walking to his car when a group of men in a Ford Taurus opened fire, striking him and the woman, who Trout did not know.
Trout told the Enterprise-Journal Monday morning that he narrowly avoided tragedy and quickly reacted to shield the woman after hearing the gunfire.
His father, Robert Trout Sr. of Tangipahoa, La., posted on Facebook Saturday that his son was “just walking to the car after the football game and someone just open (sic) fire on the crowd.”
His son, now recovering at home, said the shooting seemed to come out of nowhere.
“I’m OK right now,” he said. “They left the bullet in my arm.”
Trout Jr. was shot in his right elbow, the round traveling up into his armpit,
“It’s still in my arm, close to a vein or an artery so they didn’t want to take it out,” he said.
The female was shot in the leg, Trout said.
He said he left the South Pike-Kentwood game during the fourth quarter and as he was walking toward his car he noticed a group of pedestrians arguing with four men inside of a car.
“I remember walking from the game toward my car and seeing a group of people arguing, but they were talking to someone else,” he said. “I finally got to my car to where my cousin was, to grab a phone charger out of the car, when the boys drove by and said, ‘Y’all don’t want this smoke.’“
Trout said he saw someone in the back of the car flash and cock a gun. The car continued along the block before coming back around for another pass down the street. The car stopped in the middle of the street and an occupant inside the vehicle — arguing with people on the sidewalk — drew his handgun, Trout said.
“I got to my car and looked up,” he said. “They were parked in the middle of the road.”
That’s when the shooting started — with bullets flying out of the rear passenger-side window of the Taurus.
“I’ve never met these guys one day in my life,” he said.
The female victim happened to be walking past the scene when the shooting started. Trout said he pulled her from danger as the shooting started.
“I grabbed her and jumped out of the way with her,” he said. “That’s when the bullet hit her and I guess came and hit me.”
After the shooting happened, the woman thanked Trout for saving her life. He said he isn’t sure who she was, but is glad she is OK.
His father said he hopes that those involved in the argument will come forward so that the situation can be resolved and the shooters might be identified. He speculated that the shooters may have mistaken his son for a member of the group that they were arguing with.
Trout Sr. also hopes that people will not immediately associate the shooting to the football game, because he doesn’t know that they were connected.
“The game wasn’t over yet,” he said. “Some people were leaving early because the game was a blowout already.”
He added that he hopes this incident isn’t used as an argument for more stringent gun control.
“It’s not the guns,” he said. “It’s the people behind them”
Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. However the pair shot were not the intended targets of the shooting on Avenue H but were innocent bystanders, Kentwood Police Chief Michael Kazerooni told the Hammond Daily Star newspaper.
The victims apparently came across a group of people who were engaged in a fight, police said.
Police have not made an arrest in the case and are looking for suspects as well as the white Ford Taurus, which had no license plate.