Entries in Deputies (5)


Two Charged with Murder in Shooting of Two Louisiana Deputies

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LAPLACE, La.) -- Two men believed to belong to a right-wing separatist group have been charged in the shooting deaths of two Louisiana deputies during a bloody shootout in a trailer park on Aug. 16.

Brian Lyn Smith, 24, and Kyle David Joekel, 28, have each been charged with two counts of first-degree murder of a police officer and three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.

Both men were recently released from the hospital, where they'd been recovering from injuries sustained in the shootout.

Another suspect, Brittney Keith, has been charged with two counts of principal- to first-degree murder of a police officer.

Four other suspects involved in the shooting are in jail on lesser charges.

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Deputies Brandon Neilsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 28, were "ambushed" by the men inside a trailer home near LaPlace, La., outside New Orleans early last Thursday morning.

One of the two suspects charged with murder exited the back of the trailer home with an assault-style weapon, killing the police officers, said St. John the Baptist Sheriff Mike Tregre.

The deputies went to the trailer park in pursuit of suspects from an earlier shootout in which two other deputies, Michael Scott Boyington and Jason Triche, had been wounded. Those deputies had been on an overnight traffic detail duty near the parking lot of an oil refinery.

Smith and Joekel are believed to be members of the Sovereign Citizens movement, according to police, a loosely knit right-wing organization that does not acknowledge the sovereignty of the federal government.

"Because they believe in particular law enforcement is not legitimate, they can be quite violent. Since 2000, they have linked at [least] six law enforcement deaths to sovereign citizens," said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News consultant.

Still recovering from their injuries, Smith and Joekel have yet to appear in court or enter pleas.

A funeral for Deputy Brandon Neilsen was held Wednesday.

"Our prayers are with the families of the fallen and injured deputies, the sheriff's office, and all of our greater law enforcement family. State Police is committed to diligent, thorough and complete investigation of these horrific acts. We will continue to leverage our resources in this investigation to ensure that the facts are presented and those responsible for these heinous crimes are arrested," said State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson in a statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alleged Lousiana Cop Shooters Linked to Sovereign Citizens Movement

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- At least several of the seven suspects arrested in connection with the ambushing and killing of two Louisana deputies and the wounding of two others have been linked to the sovereign citizen movement, officials said on Sunday.

The suspects were arrested after a shootout early Thursday morning at a trailer park outside New Orleans, where the two deputies were killed.  The two had gone to the trailer park in pursuit of suspects from an earlier incident in which two other deputies were shot and wounded.

The gunmen first opened fire on deputies patrolling a parking lot near a steel plant and oil refinery in LaPlace, La., around 5 a.m. CT., according to St. John the Baptist Sheriff Mike Tregre.

Deputies Brandon Brandon Neilsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 28, were "ambushed" by at least three men inside a trailer home, one of whom exited the back of the home with an assault-style weapon.

That gunman "ambushed my two officers," Tregre said.

More than 20 shots were fired between the two locations, from multiple weapons, suggesting a large-scale and sustained shootout.

Sovereign citizens believe any form of government is illegitimate and the only law is the one they create, said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News consultant.

"Because they believe in particular law enforcement is not legitimate, they can be quite violent.  Since 2000, they have linked at [least] six law enforcement deaths to sovereign citizens," Garrett said.

The seven were all charged in connection with the shooting of one of the deputies who was wounded, as investigators attempt to determine exactly what happened last Thursday.

The sovereign citizens movement has been labeled a domestic terrorism organization by the FBI.

"The FBI are very concerned about them, both from a violent standpoint and also from a white collar crime standpoint," Garrett said.

The sovereign citizen movement has its roots in right-wing anarchist ideology that originated with a group called the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Along with violence, the ADL said members of the sovereign citizen movement have been known to enage in "paper terrorism," using "fraudulent legal documents and filings, as well as the misuse of legitimate documents and filings, in order to intimidate, harass and coerce public officials, law enforcement officers and private citizens."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Four Sheriff's Deputies Shot in Louisiana; Two Dead

Hemera/Thinkstock(LaPLACE, La.) -- An apparent shootout in Louisiana Thursday has left two sheriff's deputies dead and two others injured.

The shooting began around 5:30 a.m. when one of the deputies was making a traffic stop in a parking lot of a Valero Energy plant in LaPlace, about 20 miles west of New Orleans.

"As he was working this detail for some unknown reason at this time a gunman opened fire on him multiple times," St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said Thursday at a press conference.

Tregre said a tip then led the other officers to a nearby trailer park where they were ambushed while rounding up suspects.

"Another person exited that trailer with an assault weapon and ambushed... ambushed my two officers," he said.

Those two officers, identified as Brandon Neilsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 28, died.  

The deputy assaulted at the parking lot is currently in the hospital being treated for gunshot wounds. It is unclear where the fourth deputy, who's also in the hospital, was injured.

Tregre said five people have been taken into custody.

"We have a few people in custody right now.  We are trying to determine their roles in this shooting," he said, adding that no other perpetrators were on the loose.

"We are in control at this point, at this point we are trying to piece everything together," Tregre said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Two Deputies Dead, Two Others Wounded After Shooting in Virginia

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(VANSANT, Va.) -- Two deputies were killed and two more were wounded after a shooting in Virginia Sunday that also left the gunman dead.

According to Virginia State Police, the incident occurred just after 2 p.m. in Vansant, as deputies from the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office were responding to a 911 call about a larceny in progress at a salvage yard. The first two deputies to arrive on scene were fatally shot by the assailant, while two others that came later suffered gunshot wounds.

Among the two deputies injured, one was airlifted to a hospital in Tennessee with life-threatening injuries. The other was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for serious injuries.  Their names have not been released.

Authorities have also confirmed that the gunman, who has not been identified, was shot and killed. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Two Dead, Two Deputies Wounded After Walmart Shooting

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PORT ORCHARD, Wash.) -- Two people are dead and two sheriff's deputies are seriously injured following a shootout in front of a Walmart in Washington state Sunday afternoon.

Officials told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV that they went to the store in Port Orchard around 3:45 p.m. after they received a call reporting a suspicious person.  When deputies arrived at the scene, the suspect began to flee before turning around and firing at them in the store's parking lot.  Deputies fired back at the gunman and shot him dead.

A young woman, who sustained gunshot wounds at the scene, also died later at Tacoma General Hospital.  She has not yet been identified, but authorities believe she may have known the gunman.

"We believe that there is a connection between this young woman and gunman," Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office said.  "We just have not been able to establish what that connection is right now."

Two deputies injured in the shooting were also taken to Tacoma General, where they are listed in serious condition with non-life threatening wounds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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