03/21/2001

Deputy fatally shoots unarmed suspect
[Amite, LA]

Bob Anderson
March 18, 2001, Sunday Metro Edition
Copyright 2001 Capital City Press
Sunday Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.)
March 18, 2001, Sunday Metro Edition

(AMITE, La.) -- State Police detectives are investigating a case in which a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's deputy shot and killed an unarmed suspect Saturday morning, a State Police spokesman confirmed.

The shooting occurred after a chase into a wooded area off Range Road and a scuffle in the darkness between the deputy and the victim, who was identified as Brad Blount, 26, of Hammond, Lt. Mike Edmonson said.

The deputy told detectives that during an altercation after a foot chase, Blount lunged toward him while pulling something out of his sweat pants.

The object turned out to be a cell phone, according to State Police.

Edmonson said Blount had a small amount of cocaine and a small amount of marijuana in one of his socks.

The incident began when the deputy, whom State Police did not identify, answered a call about a one-vehicle accident, Edmonson said.

The deputy attempted to arrest Blount when he found there were outstanding warrants on him for failure to appear in court and damage to property, Edmonson said.

After a foot chase, Blount and the deputy fought in a wooded area where the shooting occurred, State Police said.

Edmonson said that when the investigation is completed, State Police will turn the report over to the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Ed Layrisson could not be reached for comment Saturday.

A Sheriff's Office spokeswoman confirmed that a deputy was involved in a shooting but refused to give the name of the victim or circumstances surrounding the incident.

Patti Giannoble of the Sheriff's Office said Layrisson had turned over the case to State Police to investigate "not because he believes there is any wrongdoing by the deputy," but "to avoid the appearance of impropriety."

She said all information would have to be released by Trooper Kevin Allen, the public information officer for State Police Troop L in Covington.

However, officials with Troop L said Allen is out of town and that State Police detectives, and not Troop L, are handling the matter.

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