DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Officials reported a police officer who shot and killed a reported gun-wielding man last month is believed to have not done anything wrong, but the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
Investigators said the Denham Springs officer fatally shot Robert Kohl, 47, of Fort Worth, Texas, on February 23. It happened just south of I-12 and Range Avenue, between Hooters and Longhorn Steak House, on a Monday afternoon.
Detectives with the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office are still investigating the shooting, but released a determination as of now.
"A complete and thorough criminal investigation is still being conducted," Sheriff Jason Ard said in a written release. "At this point in the investigation, though, it is our finding that the Denham Springs police officer acted accordingly and under Louisiana Law in using deadly force."
According to authorities, the tragic chain of events began the night before the shooting, when Louisiana State Police pulled Kohl over. Texas authorities wanted to check on him. They said he had been driving his truck too long. Kohl went to the truck stop on Range to rest, but police said his mentality turned destructive Monday morning.
When police arrived to check on him, they were forced to take cover behind a wall. They reported Kohl was waving a handgun around while standing in the grass just ahead of them. Det. Glenn Lemoine with the Denham Springs Police Department said Kohl was pacing in the median between Hooters and Longhorn Steak House when the officers approached him.
They said they asked Kohl to show his hands. When he finally he did, they said he pointed the gun at police.
"The officer was in fear of his life, as well as the life of a fellow Denham Springs officer on scene when confronted by Robert Kohl. Kohl's actions toward these officers dictated the action taken," Ard explained.
Lemoine added Kohl was hit in the stomach one time from a shotgun blast. He also said the officer who shot Kohl is a five-year veteran of the department and the standoff lasted 15 or 20 minutes.
Because of the events that led to the shooting, investigators are looking into the possibility that Kohl intentionally pointed a weapon at police, hoping to be shot.
Kohl later died at a hospital.