‘I had to wait … for the Lord’: Grieving mother reacts to son’s alleged killer’s surrender

Published 8:50 am Thursday, June 27, 2024

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After years of praying for an answer in the shooting death of her son, Lula Noel is now thanking God after a Beaumont man came forth and made a statement to police.

The alleged confession came 10 years after the Feb. 14, 2014 shooting death of Eric Noel.

“All I can say is thank you God, that’s what I was praying for, for whoever was responsible for Eric’s death, for God to deal with their mind and their heart,” Noel said.

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It wasn’t easy at first, the grieving mother said.

Then came the phone call from authorities with the news Damond Lewis went to the Port Arthur Police Department and made a statement on the killing.

Noel shed tears of joy upon learning the case was solved.

“My phone started ringing asking if I knew the news. My family was happy, some were crying, none of us cold believe this would happen,” she said.

Noel doesn’t know why Lewis decided to turn himself in, saying she never really spoke to him before. She knows he was indicted last week by a Jefferson County grand jury and the next step would be in the courtroom.

“I guess he just got tired,” she said.

Eric Noel was 29-years-old when he was shot to death on Valentine’s Day 2014. He was found in the 800 block of 9th Street and was transported to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont where he later died.

Police said there had been several altercations in the parking lot at nearby BJ’s Food Store, 1201 Seventh St., and at some point, Eric walked away. Within minutes shots were heard. When officers arrived, they found Eric on the ground.

His mother believes he left and walked toward his girlfriend’s house as he’s done many times before. It is speculated the gunman followed him around the corner and opened fire.

Lula Noel and her husband were in bed when they got the call. She said she couldn’t get out of the house fast enough. Police were trying to get information from her and had her son’s picture up. There was confusion. By the time she got to the hospital, he was dead.  There was no one there to comfort them, she said.

The only time she got to see her son was when she viewed the body at the funeral home, she said.

“In the beginning when my son was killed, I was upset,” she said, adding that either friends or family mentioned a Bible verse from Deuteronomy, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay.”

“Now, toward the end, the word that was given to me through another family friend, is “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,” she said. “I had to stop trying to do things on my own and wait on the Lord because God is “exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or thing.”

Noel said she looks at Eric’s children, a son age 14 and daughter age 10 and her heart breaks for them but she is grateful Lewis turned himself in.