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Carjacking thought to be motive in murder of Sgt. Anderson

6th January 2014   ·   0 Comments

U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Anderson,, a soldier on holiday leave, husband and father of three, became Jefferson Parish’s first murder victim of the year last week. He was killed on New Year’s night in Marrero, La., just moments after dropping off his three children. He was 31.

“He went into the home according to the father-in-law, stayed there for a short time and walked out of the residence,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato. “The father-in-law actually claimed he heard a popping sound, but really thought it was just fireworks, so he didn’t pay much attention to it. It wasn’t until a short time later that a neighbor knocked on the door and informed him of someone lying in the driveway of his home.”

The Marrero native’s green Toyota 4 Runner was recovered early Thursday morning after it was spotted about two miles from where Anderson was slain by a resident who called the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“What else he had on him at the time we do not know, but he did have some of his personal effects that generally, in robberies, some of those things are taken,” Fortunato told Fox 8 News. “We did a search of this vehicle, and it appears as though the vehicle was ransacked, but it could have been just a random act.”

A cousin of the victim told FOX 8 News that Anderson’s mother has been having a difficult time dealing with the senselessness of her son’s death and the fact that he was able to survive three military tours of duty in Iraq but was gunned down in his hometown while sharing the Christmas holidays with his family.

“”I thought he’d get shot up over there,” Anderson’s mother, Kathleen Anderson, 57, told “He came home on leave and got shot.”

Sgt. Anderson leaves behind a wife and three daughters ages seven, 11 and 12.

“”He loved his kids,” his father, David Anderson Sr., told

One of three siblings, Joseph Anderson was born and raised in Marrero and graduated from John Ehret High School in 2000. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 20. He has a brother and a sister.

“I was saddened to hear the news of another senseless murder in our community,” U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond said Thursday. “While every murder victim in our community is to be mourned and honored, the death of Sgt. Anderson brings with it a real sense of loss and concern. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Sgt. Anderson, including his three daughters, during this difficult time. I am thankful for his service to our country, and we honor that service as we remember and honor him.

“I join the local law enforcement community and ask anyone with information related to the death of Sgt. Anderson to contact authorities as soon as possible,” Richmond continued. “Until we all lose tolerance for these senseless acts, and work to uncover the perpetrators when they occur, unfortunately they will not cease.”

Authorities have not identified any suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.

This article originally published in the January 6, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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