Officer, victim dead after shooting, stabbing incident in Sunset, LA

Officer, victim dead after shooting, stabbing incident in Sunset, LA
Harrison Lee Riley Jr. (Source: St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office)
Harrison Lee Riley Jr. (Source: St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office)

SUNSET, LA (WAFB) - An officer who was shot and one of three stabbing victims died Wednesday in Sunset, Louisiana.

According to St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, three women were allegedly stabbed by a man who later shot a Sunset police officer. The sheriff said the incident started off as a possible domestic issue and quickly turned into "hell in a hand basket."

Two sisters of Grand Coteau Interim Mayor Shaterral Johnson were stabbed while trying to stop 35-year-old Harrison Lee Riley Jr., of Arnaudville, from stabbing his wife, Courtney Jolivette. Despite earlier miscommunication, one of the sisters, 40-year-old Shameka Johnson, and Officer Henry Nelson both died on the scene.

51-year-old Nelson was responding to the scene of a stabbing on Anna Street when he was shot by Riley with his own gun. According to the sheriff, Riley had taken the gun from Nelson during a confrontation.

The other sister, 34-year-old Surlay Johnson, is in critical condition at Lafayette General. Jolivette is listed in stable condition.

The suspect was taken into custody around 6:25 p.m. after he barricaded himself inside an office in a mini-mart on Hwy 93 during a standoff took place for less than two hours.

"We had to go in with tools. We had to go in with tear gas, c-gas. We had to go in with hammers and firemen's axes to try to get to the door and breach the door," said Guidroz. The sheriff also said a negotiator was on scene to try to persuade the alleged gunman into coming out peacefully.

Officials say after shooting the officer, Riley drove a few blocks away, crashing his vehicle into a mini-mart with people inside who were able to make it out safely.

Riley was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. He was treated by Acadian Ambulance medics for c-gas burns and irritation to the face and eyes after being taken into custody.

Detectives say Riley has an extensive criminal history starting in the New Orleans area from when he was younger.

Riley will be booked into St. Landry Parish jail on several charges once he is released from the hospital.

The mini-mart where the suspect barricaded himself inside caught on fire later Wednesday evening, but the flames were put out. The cause of the fire is unknown at this point. The State Fire Marshall was called in to conduct an investigation.

Sunset is located 10 miles north of Lafayette and 10 miles south of Opelousas.

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