Teenager Sentenced to Life for Fatal Shooting at Graduation Party

In 2021, a tragic shooting killed a “cute” man and father of six while attending a graduation ceremony in downtown Eunice on June 6, 2021.

In the year 2022, the accused killer of 31-year-old Donovan Reed – a then 14-year-old boy who was reported missing/runaway – wants to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

St. Landry County District Attorney Chad Pitre said the teenage gunman was sentenced to life in juvenile detention after being found guilty of second-degree murder for killing Reed. He was also found guilty of attempted second-degree murder for wounding another adult, Troy Godfrey, and for illegally carrying a firearm by a juvenile.

Reed was shot once in the torso.

Godfrey was shot three times – once in each hand and once in the leg.

St. Landry Parish District Attorney’s Office, photo courtesy of Cindy Walters

St. Landry Parish District Attorney’s Office, photo courtesy of Cindy Walters

“The state has presented sufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant willfully killed the victim, Donavon Reed,” said District Attorney Chad Pitre. “My heart goes out to Mr. Reed’s family and hopefully this judgment will bring them some closure.”

Last year, Larry and Veronica Reed issued a statement following the death of their son, Donovan (find it on In it, they reveal the pain at the loss of their son and the frustration at the cycle of crime in their community:

Every morning when we wake up we think of our son Donovan. We must remember that Donovan will not be sitting in his chair at the table enjoying a meal, enjoying his relationship with his six beautiful children, or hearing his sweet laugh at family gatherings. Every time we wake up and face this new reality, our heart skips a beat. We pray that our beloved son does not miss us as much as we do him.”

As of June 6, 2021, we must remember that life is still worth living. If not, we just can’t get our day started. Words could never describe the pain/loss of losing a child. This tragedy hurts emotionally and physically to even make it to work or to answer daily calls from friends/family. We so desperately want our lives back before June 6th. The life we ​​had before Donovan’s life was taken.”

“To our community: Every citizen should be able to LIVE, work and play in their community free from fear of gun violence. Unfortunately, gunfights are happening more frequently than ever in Eunice these days. Kids learn to carry guns and shoot instead of learning how to graduate from high school and succeed in life. Our city is breeding younger people to be perpetrators of this vicious cycle of violence that only causes losses to families.”

“NO parent should have to endure this suffering. Our elected officers and community leaders must do more to break the cycles of community violence that lead to these senseless tragedies. NOBODY is exempt from gun violence. NO place is truly safe until there is a plan of action to prevent such violence.”

“On behalf of the Reed and Malveaux family, we ask our community to respect our privacy as we continue to mourn the loss of our sweet boy. We are grateful for each individual who showered us with love and memories of Donovan. In closing, we ask our community to share any information from that night with the appropriate authority to do justice to Donovan.

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