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Suspect in five Louisiana shooting deaths captured in Virginia

Dakota Theriot, the man accused of killing five people in Louisiana, was captured in Richmond County, Virginia, according to a joint statement from the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office and the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.

Posted: Jan 27, 2019 9:30 PM
Updated: Jan 27, 2019 9:30 PM

The young man accused of killing five people in Louisiana was arrested Sunday morning in Richmond County, Virginia, after briefly pointing a weapon at deputies, Sheriff Steve Smith said.

The deputies had been called to the home of a member of Dakota Theriot's family to check on the residence when Theriot pulled up in a vehicle with a gun pointed out the window, Smith said.

The deputies sought cover and Theriot dropped the weapon on their commands. He was then arrested.

"He seemed a little tired, a little worn," Smith told CNN.

Theriot, 21, arrived at the Virginia property after a night on the run. He's accused of killing his parents, his girlfriend, and her father and brother in two separate shootings Saturday in Louisiana.

Father identified shooter before dying

Elizabeth and Keith Theriot, both 50, were at their home near Baton Rouge when the suspect killed them, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said.

When authorities arrived at the scene, Keith Theriot was still alive and told them his son shot them, authorities said.

Dakota Theriot's girlfriend, Summer Ernest, and her relatives were found dead in a home 30 miles away. The other victims included her father, Billy Ernest, 43, and her brother Tanner Ernest, 17, according to authorities.

Theriot was dating Summer and had lived with the Ernests for several weeks, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said. He was recently asked to leave the residence and not return, according to authorities.

A 7-year old and a 1-year-old were found in the home, but were unharmed and are now with their mother.

Authorities believe the shootings stemmed from a "boyfriend [and] girlfriend type of dispute," CNN affiliate WAFB reported.

"This is probably one of the worst domestic violence incidents I've seen in quite a while," Webre said. "For a young man to walk into a bedroom and kill his mother and his father, and then kill friends in Livingston that he had a connection with."

There were no red flags ahead of the two shootings Saturday morning and other than a simple possession of drug paraphernalia charge, Theriot had no other run-ins with the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, Ard said.

Theriot had last been seen driving a gray-and-silver 2004 Dodge pickup truck belonging to the Ernest family, authorities said.

Sheriff: Arrest was happenstance

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office had been told that Theriot was believed to have family in Virginia and began searching areas where he was known to have visited, authorities said.

A Theriot family member voluntarily spent the night in a hotel and asked deputies to check on their home before they returned Sunday morning, Smith said. That's when Theriot turned up at the residence. It was happenstance, the sheriff said.

Theriot was taken to the Northern Neck Regional Jail and is being held without bond pending a court appearance.

He's expected to be taken back to Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons in connection with the slayings of his parents, investigators said Sunday.

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