Deputies: Man holds family at gunpoint, shoots relative, kills self

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting in a Baton Rouge neighborhood Sunday that ended with what they said was a suicide.

Deputies secured a portion of Bluebonnet Highlands neighborhood, manning every corner of the area.

"The first thing that came to mind was, 'Oh my gosh, we just moved in here,'" said Lynley Rhodes, a resident in the Springlake subdivision.

Rhodes and her husband sat in shock in their car, forced to wait outside of their home just a few doors down from where police said Jerry Lee Foster, 53, shot a family member after having an argument with his wife.

"He pulled out a gun and told her, 'We're all going to die today,' and he took her at gunpoint to his relative's house, where their teenage son was and he held entire family at gunpoint," said Casey Rayborn Hicks of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said Foster misfired at his wife and then shot a family member in her leg when they tried to run from the house. The victim's husband then returned fire with his own gun, but Foster got out through a window.

"He was looking for everyone that had run away and at that point, he saw deputies and ran to his vehicle and tried to flee. Deputies pursued him and that's when he stopped the car and deputies thought he would turn himself in, but instead, he shot himself," Hicks explained.

Residential shootings tend to hit close to home but neighbors and law enforcement officials alike are thankful the quick response by deputies kept Sunday's incident in Springlake from becoming even worse.

"We're both from Central, a really small town and stuff even happens there, but it's also reassuring to know the cops responded so quickly, so that makes me feel at ease that I live here and they responded within minutes to get the guy," Rhodes added.

"We got the call and two minutes later, deputies were on scene and he was looking for other family members and had threatened to kill everyone, so we do think it could have been much worse than it was," said Hicks.

Brandyn Bowie's mother has lived in Springlake for close to 15 years, and while he feels for the family, he also said the shooting serves as a harsh reality check.

"It can happen anywhere," said Bowie. "It makes me feel skeptical about letting my little girl come out and play. It's Sunday afternoon and you have something like this going on. You don't expect that coming home from church."

According to Hicks, the victim is expected to recover.

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