DA presents findings for officer-involved shooting death of Terrel Walker

Source: EBR District Attorney
Source: EBR District Attorney

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge District Attorney has chosen not to pursue charges against a deputy who shot and killed a man last November, describing the shooting as "legally justified."

The shooting happened on November 27, 2016 after a chaotic series of events in the Capital City at two separate scenes. Starting around 5:30 p.m., people began to call 911, describing a woman being pushed out of a car along Essen Lane.

"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," said one caller. "I'm at the corner of Essen Lane and oh my God, I don't even know what this is. I'm about to get on the interstate, shots fired, and I? seen somebody on the ground next to the CB&I building."

Officials say Terrel Walker, 48, shot April Peck, 30, before pushing her into the street. She died. Walker was Peck's live-in boyfriend, according to authorities.

As Good Samaritans rushed to help, Walker returned, driving directly at the crowd of people. "The car rammed into the EMS, ran over the person, and shot at people," another 911 caller said.

However, the night was still not over. East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office deputies tracked Walker's cell phone, cornering him along I-10 near Bluebonnet, according to a new report from the office of District Attorney Hillar Moore. A deputy then chased Walker on foot to a ditch.

"The detective realized he was not wearing his protective vest, his location was illuminated by the lights from the interstate, he had no cover, and his backup had not yet arrived," Moore said.

Eventually, the deputy says he saw a bright flash and heard a gunshot from Walker's direction, at which point the deputy fired 11 times. Col. Mike Edmonson, who was superintendent of Louisiana State Police at the time, said Walker was dead when he arrived at the hospital. An autopsy revealed five gunshot wounds.

Moore says considering all the evidence, the deputy was legally justified to shoot. The deputy, he says, was acting in self-defense. "There is no probable cause to present this matter to a grand jury," Moore said.

The report from the DA's office shows that on the night of the shooting, Walker had drugs and alcohol in his system that could have "caused him to be restless, aggressive, psychotic, and have an altered mental status."

The report also indicates Walker had a history of mental illness and suffered from schizophrenia. Just two weeks before the shooting, Baton Rouge police took Walker to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. He was released just a short while later.

Moore says in a case like this, an alternative mental health facility, like the proposed Bridge Center, could have helped by stepping in before the deadly night. However, after voters refused to support a tax to fund the facility, that is not an option.

"Police are in a bind. What do you do with someone?" Moore said. "I? think the bridge center would have been a place this person would have been taken to."

Moore says Walker also had a record of domestic violence. Within a 17-month period, police were called out five times for alleged domestic incidents involving Walker.

No deputies were hurt in the shootout. LSP investigated the case, as part of an ongoing with agreement with EBRSO.

View Moore's full report below:

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