POINTE COUPEE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A Pointe Coupee man accused of a deadly shooting in a small Louisiana community will go in front of a grand jury on May 11.
Officials said the grand jury will decide whether to indict 24-year-old Mark Gaspard, of Innis, on manslaughter charges.
Gaspard is accused of shooting and killing Mario Celestino, 40, after Celestino allegedly ran from a deputy with the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office.
The shooting happened in the 8300 block of LA 418 around 4 p.m. on Monday, February 15 in the Village of Innis, a small community near Batchelor, which is in rural Pointe Coupee Parish.
Louisiana State Police was called in to assist with the investigation because one of PCPSO deputy was on the scene but did not fire his weapon.
Investigators said Gaspard was apparently trying to help the deputy stop Celestino. According to LSP, Gaspard was charged because the deputy did not ask for his assistance or to get involved in a "law enforcement situation."
The Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office said Celestino allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend's mother at gunpoint from her home in Avoyelles Parish. Deputies said he demanded the woman tell him where his ex-friend was.
According to officials, Celestino drove to Gaspard's house with his ex-girlfriend's mother in the car with him. They added Gaspard is dating the sister of Celestino's ex-girlfriend. The also said a deputy with PCPSO was at the house waiting for Celestino.
Celestino allegedly got out of the car with a weapon. Investigators stated when the deputy tried to put handcuffs on him, Celestino ran.
Authorities reported Gaspard then got involved in the situation and started running behind the deputy and Celestino in what they said they believe was an attempt to try to help the deputy. They added when Celestino stopped and turned around toward the deputy, Gaspard allegedly fired once and hit Celestino in the head, killing him.
Louisiana State Police is investigating the shooting, while the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating the kidnapping.