- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

MATHEWS, La. (AP) - More than two months after he was injured in a shooting rampage, Phillip Gouaux (GOH) has returned to serve on the Lafourche Parish Council.

A standing ovation welcomed Gouaux on Tuesday as he was brought into the Mathews Government Complex in a wheelchair by his daughters, Jeanne Gouaux and Aimee O’Gwynn.

“I’m not a quitter. I’ve got to finish what I’ve started,” he said.

It was Gouaux’s first meeting since a Dec. 26 shooting that put him in the hospital. Four were killed: Gouaux’s wife, Susan; the shooter, Ben Freeman; Freeman’s wife, Denise; and Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital CEO Milton Bourgeois.

Gouaux’s daughter, Andrea Gouaux, and Bourgeois’ wife, Anne, were injured.

Gouaux, who received neck and shoulder wounds that caused him to be hospitalized for 65 days, said he was “very much” happy to be back on the council, The Daily Comet (https://bit.ly/1gqtH2h) reports.

Parish President Charlotte Randolph, who had discussed replacing Gouaux if he couldn’t return to the council, said she was happy to see her friend sitting across the room from her again.

“Putting him directly in my eyesight was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen,” Randolph said.

Councilman Aaron Caillouet recognized Gouaux’s return during the meeting’s invocation.

“We greatly appreciate your answer to our prayers by allowing our beloved brother, Phillip Gouaux, to rejoin us. We have missed his thoughtful insight to our many problems,” Caillouet said.

Goaux, of Lockport, said he kept up with the council by checking agendas and staying in touch with council clerk Carleen Babin.

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Information from: Daily Comet, https://www.dailycomet.com

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