PONCHATOULA, LA (WAFB) - Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reports the 18-year-old accused of gunning down a Ponchatoula woman following a series of run-ins with her family is in custody. Deputies say the suspect was shot and wounded when authorities found him. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Reports say the suspect was shot by a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office deputy and now Louisiana State Police are handling the shooting investigation. TPSO is still handling Tuesday's homicide investigation.
Ryan Pourciau is accused of gunning down a Ponchatoula woman Tuesday morning around 7:40 a.m. He was found hiding in the victim's house. Deputies report he was armed and appeared to be waiting for other family members of the victim.
Deputies say they were called to a report of shots fired in the 39000 block of Brookfield Drive in Ponchatoula. When authorities arrived, they found 39-year-old April Vanderlinden with multiple gunshot wounds. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
According to deputies, Pourciau had numerous run-ins with Vanderlinden and her family. WWL-TV reports Pourciau was under court order to stay away from Vanderlinden's teenage daughter.
WWL-TV spoke to Vanderlinden's husband. "We deserve justice," said Vanderlinden's husband Brett. "April was my high school sweetheart and a wonderful mother to our kids.".
Ponchatoula high school was put on lock down Tuesday morning after the shooting. Officials say they searched the high school Wednesday morning as a precaution even though they had no information placing Pourciau there.
Detectives were able to develop enough probable cause to have an arrest warrant issued for Pourciau for first degree murder.
Deputies say the victim's family members spent Tuesday night away from the home and returned Wednesday to retrieve clothes. They called deputies after seeing Pourciau's flak jacket. A flak jacket or flak vest is a form of body armor designed to provide protection from case fragments from high explosive weaponry.