Shooting in Louisiana leaves 5 dead; 21-year-old at large

NEW ORLEANS — Authorities in Louisiana say separate but related shootings in two different parishes have left five people dead. A suspect was at large and was being sought.

Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre told a news conference that deputies were called to a trailer in the city of Gonzales for a “domestic incident” on Saturday morning. Upon arrival, deputies found two people who had been shot but were still alive: Elizabeth and Keith Theriot, both 51.

Webre said deputies were able to interview one of the victims before they were transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge, where they later died.

From that interview, authorities identified the couple’s 21-year-old son, Dakota, as “our prime suspect in this case.” He is being sought on first-degree murder and other charges.

Webre said Dakota had lived with his parents briefly but was asked to leave the residence and not return. He is considered armed and dangerous and was driving a stolen 2004 Dodge Ram pickup, gray and silver in color.

The sheriff said three other shooting deaths occurred Saturday in neighboring Livingston parishes, about 70 miles west of New Orleans.

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard confirmed on Facebook that three deaths happened in his parish and identified the victims as Billy Ernest, 43; Tanner Ernest, 17; and Summer Ernest, 20. Webre said they were not relatives of the suspect but appeared to know him.

Ascension sheriff’s spokeswoman Allison Hudson says authorities believe the shootings in the two parishes are connected, and investigators from both jurisdictions are working together.

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