A priest and staff member at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge was one of three siblings injured in a Ponchatoula shooting that authorities say stemmed from a family argument.
According to the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, after arguing with one of his siblings, Casey Hallford, 31, retrieved a gun from his bedroom and shot the individual, leading two other family members to flee to their respective bedrooms as Hallford “individually sought them out, shot them and fled” into a nearby wooded area with 19-year-old Arianni Williams.
All three victims were taken to a hospital, where two have since been released. The third sibling, who was identified in a Facebook post by Holy Family Catholic Church in Port Allen as Father Ryan Hallford, remains in critical condition.
A K9 search team tracked down Casey Hallford and he was taken into custody alongside Williams, the sheriff’s office said.
Casey Hallford faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of illegal discharge of a weapon. Williams faces three counts of principal to attempted first-degree murder.
Ryan Hallford formerly served as a pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church. He is listed on the St. Joseph’s Academy website as having served as the school’s executive director of mission integration since July 2022.
He was granted a leave of absence from active ministry by Bishop Michael Duca shortly before taking on the role.
Daniel Borne, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, noted that Hallford’s official status is “priest on leave.” He said Hallford is being treated at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond.
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