Washington-Marion to name field house training room after LaShun - FOX29 Lake Charles

Washington-Marion to name field house training room after LaShuntae Benton

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The shooting deaths of two innocent Southern University students is now being called a cold case. 

One of the students, 19-year-old LaShuntae Benton, was from Lake Charles, and she graduated from Washington-Marion High School. Benton and another victim, Annette January, 19. were caught in the crossfire between two shooters. Now, almost a year later,  police have suspects, but no indictments have been made. 

Theresa Tillman, Benton's mother, said though it's almost been an entire year, she hasn't accepted the fact her daughter is gone. 

"This is not something any parent can get used to." Tillman said. "Parents shouldn't have to bury their children, I should not have had to bury my 19-year-old daughter."

Benton and January were hit by gunfire at an off-campus social gathering. 

"To lose my child sending her to college is devastating, it hurts," Tillman said. "I sent her for education and I didn't get her back."

The suspected shooters are still on the loose and it has Tillman outraged that her daughter's killer is on the streets. 

"I don't know what state we're living in that allows two people to have a gunfight and kill two people and nobody gets punished for it," said Tillman. "They should spend the rest of their lives in prison."

Tillman said an indictment of the killer won't bring her daughter back, but it will bring relief. 

LaShuntae Benton was a part of the Washington-Marion athletic training staff during her four years in high school. She then went to Southern University in Baton Rouge to study sports medicine. This is why faculty at Washington-Marion felt it all the more fitting that the training room be named after her. 

"Our principal said us as a community and a school needs to do something for LaShuntae because of what she's done for the school," said Freddie Harrison, head football coach and athletic director at Washington-Marion. "She was just a great kid."

Tillman said the fact the school is doing this makes her feel proud as a parent. 

"It almost makes me feel like she was an angel," Tillman said. "For a school to recognize you and pay tribute to you after your death and you're 19 years old and you impacted all these people, that means a lot."

The ceremony dedicating the training room to LaShuntae Benton will be at Washington-Marion's field house at 1 p.m., on Monday, April 10.

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