Originally created 12/13/06

Man arrested in shooting of city employee



An Augusta man was arrested and is in custody for the fatal shooting of a City of Augusta employee who was found in the dead end of Doublegate Court near Walden Drive early Tuesday.

Seth Joseph Rouzan, 21, of McElmurrary Drive is charged with murder in the shooting death of Jeffrey Labord, 39, of Artimus Street.

Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen pronounced Mr. Labord dead at the scene.

An autopsy revealed he was shot several times, including the head and chin, said Sgt. Richard Roundtree, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Rouzan was arrested at his residence Tuesday night, police said. Several items belonging to Mr. Labord were found at Mr. Rouzan's home, Sgt. Roundtree said.

The body was found at about 5 a.m. by a carrier for The Augusta Chronicle, police said. Mr. Labord appeared to have been dead only a few hours, Sgt. Roundtree said. His home had been burglarized and his 1992 Mazda 929 was found behind a vacant house on McElmurray Drive, Sgt. Roundtree said.

Deputies had been near Doublegate Court earlier that night responding to several reports of gunfire, but no shooter was found, he said.

"We don't know if it's related yet, but that's what we're following up on," Sgt. Roundtree said.

Mr. Labord was a 19-year veteran of the Traffic Engineering Department, where he worked in maintenance, said Steve Cassell, the assistant director of traffic engineering. Mr. Cassell called the victim a "likable guy." "It hit everybody with a lot of shock," Mr. Cassell said.

Mr. Rouzan remained at the Richmond County jail and is also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and burglary, Sgt. Roundtree said. He said it appears the victim and Mr. Rouzan were acquaintances.

Reach Timothy Cox or Adam Folk at (706) 724-0851