Stand-off in La. ends in suicide

By Richard Burgess
The Advocate

CHATAIGNIER, La. — A man who shot at an Evangeline Parish deputy late Monday apparently killed himself during an overnight standoff, deputies said Tuesday.

Charles J. Armand III, 54, was found dead about 3 a.m. when a State Police SWAT team stormed his ex-wife's mobile home early Tuesday after nine hours of unsuccessful attempts to communicate with him, Sheriff's Office Lt. Dwayne Fontenot said.

Fontenot said deputies received a call from Armand's ex-wife about 5 p.m. Monday asking that deputies remove him from her Vine Street home in the town southwest of Ville Platte.

Two deputies began searching the home for Armand, who had a history of domestic violence, Fontenot said.

"When one of them made a crack in the bedroom door, he (Armand) threw off the covers and took a shot at him. Luckily, he missed," Fontenot said.

He said deputies left the home and called for backup, and during the next nine hours, law enforcement officers waited out Armand, who did not respond to repeated calls from negotiators.

"He had every opportunity to come out," Fontenot said.

The SWAT team lobbed tear gas into the home just before 3 a.m. and entered to find Armand dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Fontenot said.

"He was lying between the bed and the closet," Fontenot said.

He said it is uncertain how long Armand had lain dead in the home.

Deputies had seen curtains move early Monday evening, he said, and noises were heard coming from the mobile home about 8 p.m.

"Nobody heard the gunshot," Fontenot said.

He said Armand, who is believed to had just left a substance abuse treatment facility, was a well-known figure among law enforcement officials in the parish.

"He was a peculiar, strange fellow," Fontenot said. "He did what he wanted and when he wanted to."

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