A day of violence ended in Sunset, Louisiana on Wednesday after police fired tear gas into a grocery market and stormed it, taking into custody a man believed to have stabbed 3 civilians, one of whom has died, and shot dead the police officer who responded to the call.
The dead police officer and the gunman were cousins.
After stabbing three woman, one his girlfiend, who survived, and shooting the police officer, the man escaped the crime scene at his home and drove three blocks to crash his car into the market. No one at the market was injured.
First reports said that the suspect, named as Harrison Lee Wiley Jr., had 3 hostages in the market but later reports said everyone in the store, employees and customers, were able to safely flee when Wiley crashed through the front window. A two-hour stand-off began in which a hostage negotiator was brought to the scene, only to have the suspect refuse to talk. Finally, police fired tear gas into the store.
“We had to go in with tools,” Sheriff Bobby Guidroz told local news station WAFB. “We had to go in with tear gas, c-gas. We had to go in with hammers and firemen’s axes to try to get to the door and breach the door.”
Sheriff Guidroz told media “the man is in custody” and said his officers were able to subdue him without anyone being injured. The incident began as a domestic violence call and that is what sent Officer Henry Nelson, 51, to the home. Upon arrival, the officer, a long-time member of the town’s small police force, was shot. He was rushed to hospital but did not survive.
One of the stabbing victims has died and two, including the suspect’s girlfiend, are being treated in hospital. All three stabbing victims knew Wiley. Drugs may have been involved, Sheriff Guidroz said. Sunset is about 112 km. (70 miles) west of Baton Rouge.