Salon customer and friend accused of killing pregnant West Monroe woman

Local News

WEST MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD) — A heart breaking story out of West Monroe, a pregnant woman murdered in cold blood. On September 23rd, shortly before 5:30pm. The West Monroe Police Department responded to a shooting that happened in the 100 block of Linderman Avenue.

Sa’De Brown, older sister of victim, says, “When my other aunt called and said, your sister been shot, call your mom. I couldn’t say anything, I was, like, frozen. I started panicking and I couldn’t get my feet to move. I had to make my feet move. I got to hold and conceal everything in so my mom is okay. I have to hide how I feel but I kept hearing Breandonna say, big sis you strong for everybody but I don’t even remember nobody being strong for you. When that was happening, my aunt was on the phone and she was saying just get to the hospital, they are taking her in to St. Francis.”

Upon arrival, police found Clara Hardwell who had been shot multiple times. Hardwell was taken to St. Francis hospital were she later died due to her injuries. Witnesses say Hardwell was doing a friend’s hair. After she was done, the friend didn’t want to pay and that’s when they got into argument.

“When we got there and I was standing outside and we were waiting on them to come because we beat them there. She came in on the gurney and I knew she was already gone. It was really, really hard and I kept wondering, who could hurt that child. Who could hurt her because she was an adult, but she had a kind spirit and soul” says, Brown.

“When I first got there, somebody told me she had been shot a number of times. Then somebody else told me it was more than a number of times. When they brought her in, I remember seeing them take her off that ambulance and I was standing on the side. I said Breandonna, this momma, breathe Brendonna breathe. In my heart I already knew she was gone, she wasn’t breathing. I just kept saying breathe Brendonna” says, Sha’ron Hardwell, mother of the victim.

The suspect fled the scene but was identified. According to police, Richard Lee Gilbert is being charged with second degree murder. He’s being held at Ouachita Correctional Center on a one-million dollar bond.

“It’s no words, no momma, no momma should have to bury their child. Especially somebody that didn’t do nothing to nobody. I’m making this plea to the people of West Monroe and Monroe, please learn how to talk to each other. Stop getting offended, stop feeling disrespected about something that’s not important. Please take your time to listen to the people that you are having a disagreement with or doing business with. Please think about what you are doing. Don’t just act on raw emotions. Everybody has family and no family deserves to grieve and bereavement over senseless killings” says, Hardwell.

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