PONCHATOULA — It’s been over two weeks since Ryan Hallford, a former pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church in Port Allen and current executive director of mission integration at St. Joseph’s Academy, was shot allegedly by his brother.
Since that day in late May, Hallford said he has been thankful everyone survived the scary incident.
“The thing we’ve all been thankful for is that everyone is alive,” he said. “There’s a lot of gratitude around that. Everybody’s been coming together and being supportive.”
Hallford’s brother, Casey Hallford, is accused of shooting Ryan and their two other siblings. It escalated from an argument at a home in Ponchatoula on May 25.
According to authorities, Casey, 31, got a gun from his bedroom at the Toula Oaks Trailer Park on South Range Road and allegedly shot all three of his siblings before running to a nearby wooded area with his fiance, 19-year-old Arianni Williams.
TPSO says Casey Hallford was charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of illegal discharge of a weapon, while Williams was charged with three counts of principle to attempted first-degree murder.
“The situation is complicated and weird,” Ryan Hallford admitted. “It’s complicated because family is always complicated and weird because my family business is somewhat known. That day, where the incident happened was a trailer I leased to own that’s in my name. Casey, his fiance Ari (Williams), and another sibling stay there. He had been out of work for a while for various reasons.”
“Part of the conversation was, ‘Casey, you want me and my other siblings to help more?’ and I said, ‘I need you to step up a little bit more’,” he added. “And he’s like, ‘Well, I can’t.’ I replied, ‘Well, we’re gonna have to figure something else out.’ And so that came to a confrontation.”
The confrontation resulted in Casey allegedly shooting his older brother eight times across the gut, chest, legs, and back.
Ryan said there is sadness among his family regarding the situation and uncertainty around the legal issues for Casey.
“I’m not mad at Casey. I don’t hate Casey,” he stated. “I wish it never happened. I hope this seriously ends up somehow with us being on the same side of eternity. I do believe in the mercy of God for myself, for him, for everybody involved, and that’s always been my hope for my family.”
Ryan said he was discharged from the hospital a week after the shooting. His health has improved, but he admitted he isn’t 100 percent yet.
“They reconstructed the vein on my left leg, so it kind of holds a little more fluid, so I’m working on that,” he said. “I think I’m going to get the staples out of my chest and where they reconstructed the vein this week. After that, I plan on starting physical therapy.”
He said he’s been on a healthy diet and working towards participating in jiu-jitsu again as he did before the shooting.
“I’ve been grateful for all the prayer and support from the community,” he said. “A lot of people have no idea what’s been going on. They’ve had people praying for me and my brother Casey, and I appreciate that as well.”
Ryan Hallford grew up in the Slidell area in St. Tammany Parish and was a 2002 graduate of Northshore High. He was granted a leave of absence from active ministry shortly before taking on his current role at St. Joseph’s Academy in July 2022.