Woman identified and in custody after reportedly throwing her own children from Cross Lake bridge, resulting in 1 dead, 1 injured

Three children were reportedly thrown from Cross Lake bridge on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. One of them was found dead, while another was injured and taken to the hospital.(KSLA)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – Shreveport Police have identified Ureka Black as the woman who reportedly threw off her own children from Cross Lake bridge. She has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

A spokesperson with the Shreveport Police Department says they got the first call just before 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 24 about a child in the water near the bridge. Marine patrol officers responded and found a small child dead in the water. Officers then began searching the lake and were able to rescue another small child, who was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Since then, the child’s injuries have been downgraded to non-life-threatening and he is expected to recover. Detectives responding to the hospital were able to talk with the child, who helped detectives identify, Ureka Black, as the mother of both children.

“My heart is just so broken with this event that has occurred today,” said Substitute Chief for the Shreveport Police Department Wayne Smith.

Multiple agencies were initially searching for a third child believed to be in the water as well, however, detectives were able to confirm that child was never in the water and is safe.

Black was driving a grey Dodge Caravan with a Texas license plate and was taken into custody at the Texas state line by the Waskom Police Department, SPD says. Shreveport officials put out a BOLO (be on the lookout) for Black’s vehicle and a Waskom officer thought he spotted it at a rest stop. He turned around, pulled her over and took her into custody.

Officials say Black has since been brought to SPD headquarters where she is being questioned about the incident.

“This is a tragedy. We ask for prayer for the family and children. Pray for law enforcement officers who’ve been out here all day, firefighters, dive teams, been a multi-agency effort. There is no happy ending for this,” said Sgt. Angie Willhite with SPD.

Police do believe the children were thrown from the bridge. They do not believe this was a random act of violence. They’re asking anyone who saw anything to call SPD at (318) 673-7300 or Crime Stoppers at (318) 673-7373.

Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor, who represents the district in which this happened, reacted to the situation Friday afternoon. She spoke about the need for better mental health services in the city and said as a mother, she “can’t wrap her brain around it.”

Written by Rachael ThomasChandler Watkins and Stacey Cameron

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