Crime statistics from the Lafayette Police Department show that all types of violence crime, especially homicides saw an increase from 2016 to 2017.
LPD investigated 24 homicides in 2017, compared to 16 in 2016 which is a 50 percent increase.
“Each one of those represents a tragedy and a loss for a family.” said Officer Karl Ratcliff.
For Lafayette Police, there is a silver lining.
“We are solving these crimes.” said Ratcliff.
The pain of loss is still very much real for the family of Christon Chaisson.
He was killed in August in downtown Lafayette.
Tyler Benoit was indicted with 2nd degree murder in connection to his death.
Despite that, Christon’s cousin, Kelly Thomas says it hasn’t gotten any easier.
“There’s no time for them to actually grieve and go through the healing process of losing Chris.” said Thomas.
The family has endured many setbacks from delays in his accused killer’s court case as well as someone crashing into his grave site last week.
“We don’t know who did this. It was a hit and run.” said Thomas.
Probably the most hurtful was seeing his accused killer released on bond.
However, the family is not backing down.
They plan on bringing a big group to Benoit’s next court hearing.
“We’ve actually coined our own group, Christon’s Army, and that’s who we are and we are going to fight for Christon until justice is served. We are going to do what we should do for him because we know he would have done the same for any of us.” said Christon.
The group wants to show who Christon really was.
“He was shot during that he didn’t see was right, a women was being abused downtown and he got in the middle of it and he did what he felt was right. That’s who Christon is. He is a hero. He’s our hero.”
The next court date for Christon Chaisson’s accused killer is May 24th at 9am at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse.
The family is inviting the public to show up and wear red in support of Christon.