St. Charles Herald-Guide

Motorcyclist fired 2 shots at car, police say

By Jonathan Menard - July 11, 2013

Two men were driving down Mockingbird Lane in St. Rose’s Preston Hollow neighborhood when they say a motorcycle swerved past them and the driver fired two shots into their vehicle.

One of the men in the car identified the shooter as 27-year-old Samuel P. Vinnett III. Police issued a warrant for Vinnett and he turned himself in on July 4, a day after the shooting took place.

Neither of the men were injured in the shooting, but authorities say one bullet hit the passenger door and another struck the rear passenger quarter panel.

Vinnett has been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder and carrying an illegal weapon. He is being held at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center under $650,000 bond.

While police believe Vinnett was the shooter in this incident, he was on the other side of a gun in 2012.

Last April, Vinnett was found lying in the street and bleeding profusely from numerous bullet wounds. Deputies followed a trail of Vinnett’s blood back to where the shooting had taken place and found five shell casings from a .32 caliber firearm.

Vinnett told deputies that earlier in the night he was driving through the Preston Hollow neighborhood with his brother when someone shot out the rear window of his Chevrolet Impala.

Vinnett said he returned home and dropped off the vehicle before returning to the neighborhood where he saw Nicholas Cockerham and 23-year-old Damien Blanks in a gold Altima. Vinnett told police that both men had guns and started shooting at him. Vinnett said he began to run from the car when he was struck by several bullets.

Cockerham and Blanks were arrested for attempted murder, but there was not enough evidence to convict and former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel refused charges against the two men.

Samuel P. Vinnett III
Samuel P. Vinnett III