Coroner: Murder suspect commits suicide in officer-involved shooting in Baton Rouge

Lawrence Blackburn (Source: Lafayette Police Department)
Lawrence Blackburn (Source: Lafayette Police Department)
Quentin Cooper (Source: Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office)
Quentin Cooper (Source: Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man wanted for first-degree murder in Lafayette is dead after a shootout Wednesday night with law enforcement agents in Baton Rouge.

According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark, Lawrence Blackburn, 37, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The Baton Rouge Police Department reported Blackburn was killed in a shooting at an apartment complex on West Brookstown Drive near Prescott Road around 7:30 p.m.

Officials said he was armed and the US Marshal Task Force was involved in the shooting.

"I've never witnessed anything like that," said Shantel Smothers, a neighbor on W. Brookstown Dr.

Smothers said she was watching a movie with her friend and teenage daughter Wednesday night when they heard gunshots.

"We heard like seven of them," said Smothers.

During the standoff, police relocated them. They drove Smothers, her friend and her daughter to a family member's house where they stayed for four hours while the scene was active.

"He asked if we wanted to leave out and I'm like, 'Please, can we please leave,'" recalled Smothers.

Smothers' house is only about a 100 yards from where police say the standoff happened.

"He definitely was shot by the US marshal, members inside the task force," Cpl. L'Jean Mckneely with BRPD said. "We're not sure if the shots or the injuries that he sustained from the gunshots was the injury that actually killed him."

The coroner determined the exact cause of dead Thursday. BRPD is leading the investigating into the shooting.

No matter who shot and killed who, Smothers said the nightmare of what she witnessed Wednesday night is more than enough to make her want to move.

"I don't even come outside unless I'm getting in my car and leaving. Because you know, it's too much around here," said Smothers.

Police said Blackburn was wanted in connection with a shooting in Lafayette that left Dravin Stevenson, 18, dead and sent a 19-year-old man to the hospital. The victim who survived is listed in critical condition. Investigators had been trying to catch up with Blackburn for days.

US Marshals tracked him down Wednesday to the apartment building on W. Brookstown Dr., where police say the standoff followed.

"He has family here and might have ties to the community," US Marshal Kevin Harrison said.

A woman in the area was also shot in leg. She is expected to be okay.

LPD arrested Quentin Cooper of Morgan City on Tuesday on a charge of principal to first-degree murder in connection with the Lafayette shooting.

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