Hank Everett Clark, DeRidder, LA - photo courtesy of VPSO

Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office was contacted a local medical facility in relation to a gun shot wound victim shortly before noon Thursday, September 9, 2021. Upon arrival at the hospital, Deputies learned that 25 year old, Lane Douglas Van Winkle, of Dequincy, had arrived at the emergency room suffering from a gun shot wound to the neck. Van Winkle was immediately triaged and transferred to a hospital in Rapides Parish.

Detectives and Deputies began to identify, locate, and interview witnesses in relation to the matter. One female witness, indicated that she and Van Winkle had been traveling in the Evans area when they had pulled over onto the side of the road and were then approached by an unknown subject. The female stated that the subject and Van Winkle began to argue and the subject shot Van Winkle. The female stated that she loaded Van Winkle into a vehicle and transported him to the emergency room.

It was learned that at the time of the shooting there were two females and one additional male subject with Van Winkle. The four had traveled to a cemetery in Evans in the area of Jarrell Loop. One of the females stated that her brother was buried at the cemetery, thus explaining their presence in the area. Following an additional interview the female witness admitted that that Van Winkle had been in a physical altercation with the other male subject, identified as Hank Everett Clark, age 25, of DeRidder. The witness stated that during the altercation Clark had grabbed a handgun from his vehicle and shot Van Winkle in the neck.

Deputies traveled to the cemetery in an effort to search for evidence.

Deputies and Officers with the New Llano Police Department began a canvas of motels in Leesville and New Llano. They located Clark's vehicle at approximately 5 a.m. Clark, along with one of the female witnesses, were located at the motel.

Clark was taken into custody without incident. Detectives collected a .9mm handgun which Clark had in his possession at the motel. The firearm was determined to have been stolen from Beauregard Parish. The second female witness from the motel confirmed that Clark shot Van Winkle during a physical altercation. Clark was arrested and charged with one count of Aggravated assault with a firearm, one count of Illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities, one count of Illegal Possession of a Stolen Firearm, one count of Possession of a Firearm or Carrying of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and one outstanding Bench Warrant from Beauregard Parish. Bond has not been set and Clark remains in the VPSO jail.

At last word, Van Winkle was listed in stable condition.

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