Louisiana Shootings Leave 5 Dead; Suspect at Large

January 26, 2019 Updated: January 27, 2019

NEW ORLEANS—Authorities in Louisiana said separate but related shootings on Saturday, Jan. 26, in two different parishes, left five people dead, and they’re searching for a 21-year-old man who they said is “armed and dangerous.”

Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said Dakota Theriot is the “prime suspect” in the deaths of Keith and Elizabeth Theriot of Gonzales, his parents.

They were shot in their trailer on Saturday morning. Deputies arrived at the scene and were able to interview one of the victims before both died. Webre said that information led authorities to zero in on the couple’s son as a suspect.

Dakota Theriot was being sought on first-degree murder and other charges. He was believed to be driving a stolen 2004 Dodge Ram pickup, gray and silver in color.

Louisiana Shooting
A 2004 Dodge pickup truck, gray on top, silver on bottom, a 4-door, license plate C583809 driven by shooting suspect Dakota Theriot, 21. (Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office via AP)

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

Louisiana Shooting
Authorities in Louisiana said a shooting left five people dead in two parishes, on Jan. 26, 2019. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

“After speaking with their detectives for quite a while we came to realize that these two cases indeed may be related. We feel that they are related,” Webre said.

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.

Webre said Dakota had lived with his parents briefly but was asked to leave the residence and not return.

Dakota Theriot, 21, is being sought by authorities in Louisiana as a suspect in two separate shooting incidents that left five people dead in two parishes, on Jan. 26, 2019. (Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office via AP)

“I would not approach this vehicle. We feel no doubt that Dakota is going to be armed and dangerous and we need to bring him to justice really quick,” Webre said.

Webre said Theriot had some run-ins with law enforcement in other parishes that he described as misdemeanor-type incidents that did not include violence: “Certainly nothing of the magnitude that we’ve seen today.”

Webre said they believe the suspect is heading east and that there was no reason to think he was now targeting someone else but warned that because he’s armed and dangerous, “Anybody he comes into contact with could be a target.”

By Chevel Johnson And Rebecca Santana