Residents take up arms as suspect remains on the loose

Kaunda Magee
Kaunda Magee

KENTWOOD, LA (WAFB) - Residents are taking up arms as the hunt for a wanted man considered extremely dangerous moves forward. Authorities said now that people are being cautious and arming themselves, it may be the suspect who is in trouble.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said Kaunda Magee, 36, has been hiding in the woods near Kentwood for a week. Deputies are driving up and down the streets of Eastfork, while other law enforcement agents are on four-wheelers searching for Magee. Residents said the community has never seen police canvassing like this.

Magee has been on the run from officials since Oct. 3. He's accused of a home invasion, aggravated rape and kidnapping in Washington Parish. Deputies and a state trooper in the parish said Magee led them on a chase and then fired shots at them. Charges of attempted murder of a police officer were added.

According to Sheriff Daniel Edwards, five homes within the search area were broken into. During one break-in, Edwards said Magee tied up a woman and stole her Hummer. During yet another chase, Magee fled the stolen vehicle and ran back into the woods.

Residents have been advised to lock their doors, but many are taking even more steps to protect themselves. Some have boarded up windows and doors. One woman said she is now sleeping with a baseball bat. Others are relying on a more powerful means of staying safe.

"In this part of the country and state, most residents are armed," said Edwards. "They normally are. They are now. The only thing different is their guns are loaded right now."

Edwards said Magee is stealing clothing and food, things to stay alive. However, in one case, Edwards said a gun was reported missing. That gun may have been used Wednesday, when K-9 Officer Titan was shot. The dog is expected to be okay. Magee is believed to be injured. Deputies found human blood in the woods.

If you see Magee, officials said call 911. Do not approach him. Magee is considered armed and dangerous.

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