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‘Why so long?’ Family of murder victim questions City of Alexandria’s crime reporting policy

18-year-old Serena Williams’ suspected killer was on the run - but her family claims an alert wasn’t put out until hours later
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 7:17 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 10:15 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Alexandria Police Department is continuing to search for Germon Jefferson, 25, of Alexandria, in connection with a homicide that occurred Tuesday night on Lakeside Drive. As those efforts continue, the family of the victim claims a policy from the City of Alexandria stalled the news of a murder suspect on the run from getting to the public.

Officers from the Alexandria Police Department got to the Sanctuary at Alexandria Apartments at 10:30 p.m. after reports of gunshots and found 18-year-old Serena Williams shot several times in her chest. She later died at a local hospital. Williams’ family shared that the murder suspect, Jefferson, had an 18-month-old child with Serena’s sister.

After the shooting, police believe Jefferson drove to River Bend Drive in Alexandria, where he allegedly attempted to shoot Serena’s brother with a rifle, but missed. No one was injured. Later that evening, a state trooper attempted to pull Jefferson over, but he refused to stop and a chase started. That ended in Marksville when Jefferson abandoned his car, which had the 18-month-old inside, and ran away. The baby was later found safe.

KALB spoke with Serena Williams’ family, who shared that they have concerns about the length of time it took APD and the City of Alexandria to release that a murder suspect was on the run. KALB received the information on Jefferson at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, which the family said is hours after he was gone.

“Leaving that hourly gap in-between time of putting his face out there -- in these types of situations, time is of the essence. Alerting the public is really your number one, you know, eyes and ears when situations like this happen. So, my question to APD and the City of Alexandria is: why so long?” Melissa Johnson Eldridge, Serena’s aunt, said.

The current crime reporting policy in the city is that APD must send information to the Mayor’s office, who then decides what information will be released.

“Why so many approvals? When there’s a tragic crime such as this, why does anyone have to come and say ‘hey it’s okay to do this.’ I mean everyone knows what’s right to do in a certain situation and you shouldn’t have to wait to hear from the Mayor’s office to say ‘hey yeah it’s okay to print that.’ It’s not a paper -- it’s not like the gazette or anything. It’s just getting information out there,” Antonio Jerome Johnson, Serena’s uncle, said.

Here’s the full interview with Williams’ family:

As of Wednesday evening, Jefferson remains on the run. If you have any information about his whereabouts, call 911 or contact the Alexandria Police Department at 318-441-6416.

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