Just days after former LaGrange football stand-out Darius Edwards was killed at a party in Hempstead, Texas, another Lake Charles native was killed while attending a college party. Athlete and former Washington-Marion student, Lashuntae Benton, of Lake Charles died while attending a party near Southern University campus early Sunday morning.

A sophomore at S.U., the 19-year-old was gunned down along with 19-year-old freshman Annette January (also a student athlete) of Gary, Indiana. A third victim, a 24-year-old unidentified male, was hospitalized with non-threatening wounds.

According to reports, all three were students at Southern attending a party at a nearby apartment complex called The Cottages. Authorities believe 22-year-old Ernest Felton got into an argument with the male victim prior to firing shots. According to his arrest affidavit, he initiated the shooting when he opened fire on a car that approached him. Police say a man inside the car returned fire and, though he was shot several times in the upper body and the leg, he is expected to live. Sadly, Benton and January got caught in the crossfire and were killed.

Felton is a former Southern University football player and is listed as a defensive back on the Jaguars 2012 roster as a freshman.

The Baton Rouge Police Department reports the shooting occurred at about 2 a.m. at the Ben Hur Avenue apartments as several people stood around outside. Ernest Felton was arrested, and has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon. D.A. Hillar Moore reported his bond was set at $90,000.

The shooting remains under investigation and it's unclear if the male victim is going to face any charges in the senseless shooting. According to reports, authorities are waiting on ballistic test results to determine who is responsible for the shooting deaths of the two young women.

This is the second time in a couple of days that our community has lost a young person to violence, and the same weekend of which former New Orleans Saint Will Smith was murdered after a traffic accident.

What is going on? Are we safe anywhere? We are deeply saddened by the untimely deaths of all three victims, and pray for their families and friends to get through this extremely difficult time.