Policeman shot to death and 3 women stabbed, one fatally, in Louisiana
Police firing tear gas stormed a grocery market in southwestern Louisiana on Wednesday to arrest a man accused of shooting a police officer to death and stabbing three women, one fatally, before barricading himself inside the store, authorities said.
The suspect, identified as Harrison Lee Wiley Jr., was captured about an hour after the violence began in the small town of Sunset, about 70 miles (112 km) west of the state capital, Baton Rouge, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff said.
Wiley is accused of stabbing his wife and two other women in a “domestic disturbance,” then fatally shooting the officer who was the first to arrive on the scene, Sheriff Bobby Guidroz told reporters.
Wiley, described by responding officers as “highly intoxicated,” then jumped into an automobile and drove about three blocks before crashing the vehicle into a JR Food Mart, the sheriff said.
“It went to hell in a hand basket from there,” Guidroz said.
The grocery’s owner, a customer and an employee who were inside the store, escaped, and the suspect holed up inside an inner office while police converged on the area and surrounded the building.
Officers fired volleys of tear gas into the building, then forced their way inside to arrest the suspect, who “resisted” before he was subdued and taken into custody, the sheriff said.
“I was told by officers responding that he was high on some sort of narcotic,” Guidroz said. “We’re going to do a thorough investigation as to what he was high on,” he said.
The slain Sunset police officer, initially reported to have survived his gunshot wounds, was identified as Henry Nelson, 51. One of the stabbing victims, Shameka Johnson, 40, was also pronounced dead, the sheriff said.
Johnson’s sister, Surlay Johnson, and Wiley’s wife, Courtney Jolivette, were hospitalized with stab wounds, the sheriff said.
The Johnson women are siblings of the mayor of the neighboring town of Grand Coteau, the sheriff added. Their relationship, if any, to the suspect, was unclear.