By Lt. Bill Davis, Bossier Sheriff’s Office
The Bossier Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office arrested a 19-year Natchitoches man earlier this week for attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend and her parents in south Bossier.
Zachary P. Braley of the 200 block of Percy St. in Natchitoches was charged with three counts of attempted first degree murder and one count of property damage for creating two incendiary devices and placing them at the entrance and exit of the camper trailer in which the family was sleeping. They were temporarily living in the camper in their driveway while repairs were being made to their home that flooded earlier this year during the big storm.
Deputies were dispatched to the residence on the 200 block of Shadow Ridge Drive in south Bossier around 2:24 a.m. on Sunday morning in reference to a structure fire. The home owners had awakened to flames at the door of the camper. They were able to extinguish some of the fire and exit the camper, just before South Bossier Fire District #2 arrived and put out the remaining fire. Detectives and fire officials say the family is fortunate to be alive.
Detectives with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and State Fire Marshal’s Office began their investigation to determine who could have done such a deadly act. They found a handwritten note at the scene that said, “We are here,” in Arabic, which would later be determined to be a ruse. Detectives had no surveillance video.
However, following a thorough investigation that lasted through the night Sunday and into most of the day, detectives determined that Braley, ex-boyfriend of a teenage girl at the residence, was the culprit. They found evidence in his vehicle linking him to the crime, and upon questioning, Braley confessed to the crime, admitting his intent was to kill the occupants.
Braley had mainly used a couple of gallon jugs filled with gasoline, fashioned with a wick from a bandana as incendiary devices. The fire damage he caused resulted in an estimated $12,500 worth of damage to the camper and a truck parked nearby in the driveway.
Braley was transported to the Bossier Maximum Security Facility Sunday evening for booking, where he faces a $2,251,000 bond on the Bossier Sheriff’s Office charges. He also faces additional charges with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office.