Louisiana shooting suspect arrested

Louisiana shooting suspect arrested

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The 21-year-old suspect, Dakota Theriot Image copyright Livingston Parish Sheriff
Image caption Police are searching for the suspect, identified as Dakota Theriot
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US police have arrested a man suspected of killing five people, including his parents, in two separate but related shootings in the state of Louisiana.

Dakota Theriot, 21, was caught on Sunday, 1,770km (1,100 miles) away at his grandmother’s house in Virginia.

Saturday’s shootings were in Livingston and Ascension parishes, south of Louisiana state capital Baton Rouge.

Authorities said the other victims are a woman thought to be his girlfriend, and her brother and father.

Police believe Mr Theriot stole her father’s grey and silver Dodge Ram pick-up truck, before driving to shoot his parents, Keith and Elizabeth Theriot.

He had a gun with him at the time of his arrest, which authorities say he dropped without confrontation.

He faces charges of first-degree murder, illegal use of a weapon and home invasion.

What happened on Saturday?

Authorities say Dakota Theriot was in a relationship with 20-year-old Summer Ernest, and that Mr Theriot had been staying with her family for several weeks.

At around 09:00 local time (15:00 GMT), police were called to a trailer park in Livingston parish, where they found Summer, her father Billy Ernest, 43, and her brother Tanner Ernest, 17, shot and killed in their mobile home.

A neighbour told local media two children were in the Ernest home at the time of the shooting, and ran to her home distressed but unharmed.

Shortly after, other police officers were called for “domestic incident” in the city of Gonzales, 25 miles (40km) south of Baton Rouge, Ascension Sheriff Bobby Webre said.

When they arrived, they found Elizabeth Theriot, 51, shot dead in her bedroom, while her husband Keith, also 51, was still alive.

He told the officers that their son, who had recently been told to leave their house and not return, was the gunman. He was taken to a hospital but later died of his injuries.

What do we know about Dakota Theriot?

After the shootings in Louisiana, Dakota Theriot began the 16-hour drive towards his grandmother’s home in Warsaw, Virginia.

Local police there had been in contact with his grandmother who had feared her grandson would show up there. Officers were in the home when Mr Theriot drove up in what was believed to be the stolen truck.

He will be brought back to Ascension to face charges, sheriffs from Louisiana said in a statement.

“My family met him last weekend at a birthday party and didn’t get good vibes from him,” Crystal DeYoung, Billy Ernest’s sister, told the Associated Press news agency.

In a Facebook page that appeared to belong to him, there was a repost made in June saying “wish i could clear my mind jus for one day” (sic) with a sad emoji.

In May, he posted a message which said: “If you have a problem with me, tell me. Not everyone else.”

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