5 dead; Dakota Theriot arrested in Virginia

A 21-year-old Louisiana man wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of his parents and three other people was arrested in Virginia, authorities said Sunday.

Dakota Theriot will be transported from Richmond County to Ascension Parish in Louisiana and booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre and Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said in a statement.

Authorities say the suspect fatally shot Billy Ernest, 43, his son Tanner, 17, and daughter Summer, 20, in their Livingston Parish home early Saturday before driving to his parents home. A short time later, Ascension Parish deputies were called to the couple’s trailer in the city of Gonzales, where they found Dakota’s parents, Elizabeth Theriot, and Keith Theriot, both 51, with gunshot wounds. 

“The father was gravely injured at the time we found him and has since passed away,” Webre said. “We were able to get a dying declaration from him, only enough information to let us know it was his son that committed this act.”

Elizabeth Theriot also died from her wounds a short time later.

Webre said Dakota Theriot had lived with his parents briefly but had been asked to leave and not return.

Webre said Theriot did not have a police record in Ascension Parish, but he did have run-ins with law enforcement in St. John, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.

“He was not on our radar screen in Ascension Parish,” Webre said.

Ard said Theriot had recently been in a relationship with Summer Ernest. Crystal DeYoung, Billy Ernest’s sister, told the Associated Press that she believes Theriot and Summer Ernest had just begun dating.

“My family met him last weekend at a birthday party and didn’t get good vibes from him,” DeYoung said. “My mom is a good judge of character and she just thought he was not good.”

The Ernests’ neighbor, Charlene Bordelon, told The Advocate the two youngest children in the Ernest family fled to her home after the shooting. Bordelon said the two children, both under 8 years old, were not wounded. Bordelon called 911 after the children told her their father, brother and sister were dead. 

“She was terrified,” Bordelon said of the little girl, tears welling in her eyes. “It’s so heartbreaking.”

Contributing: Kristin Askelson, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Source link