Friday, August 17, 2012

UPDATE: Seven charged in shootings that killed Louisiana police officers

Seven charged in shootings that killed Louisiana police officers | Reuters

(Reuters) - Louisiana police have charged seven people in connection with Thursday's shootings near New Orleans that left two sheriff's deputies dead and two others wounded, authorities said.

Brian Lyn Smith, 24, of LaPlace, Louisiana, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, St. John Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Dane Clement said on Friday.

Terry Smith, 44, Derrick Smith, 22, Kyle David Joekel, 28, and Teniecha Bright, 21, were charged with being a principal to attempted first-degree murder, Clement said.

Chanel Skains, 37, and Britney Keith, 23, were charged with accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder.

The charges stem from a pair of related shootings early Thursday morning in and around LaPlace, about 25 miles west of New Orleans.

First, a gunman shot and wounded St. John Parish Deputy Michael Scott Boyington, 33, while he was performing off-duty work directing traffic at a parking lot for Valero Energy Corp.'s St. Charles refinery, St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said.

The gunman fled, and officers investigating the incident ended up at a trailer park in LaPlace. As they were interviewing two suspects, someone came out of a trailer with an assault weapon and shot dead the two officers and wounded another, Tregre said.

The slain deputies were identified as Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 27. The other wounded deputy is Jason Triche, 30.

Suspects Smith and Joekel remain hospitalized with injuries they received in the shooting and will be booked upon release from the hospital, Clement said.

All of the charges are in connection with the shooting of Boyington, police said. The investigation into the shootings at the trailer park continue and is being led by the Louisiana State Police.

All the suspects were listed as LaPlace residents. Bonds ranging from $350,000 to $750,000 have been set for each.

The injured police officers are in stable condition and doing well, Clement said.

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