BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Two people are dead after a domestic shooting led to a chase across parish lines that ended with the suspect jumping off the Horace Wilkinson Bridge (New Bridge) Monday night, according to officials.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office reports Lydia Johnston, 31, was found shot in the home she once shared with her ex-boyfriend, Ricardo Diaz, 43, off Gaylord Road in Walker just before 9 p.m. on Monday, March 12. Sheriff Jason Ard says Johnston was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died from her injuries.
He added Diaz shot her several times in front of seven kids that were in the house at the time and then led deputies on a high speed chase. He added Diaz stopped his vehicle atop the bridge and jumped off.
"This was obviously a domestic incident," Ard said in a written release. "During our investigation, we learned that Johnston and Diaz were once a couple - not married - but they do have four children together. We also know that they were estranged and that Diaz was no longer living at the address to which we were dispatched."
Ard added deputies have been to the home in the past for domestic disturbances and Diaz has been arrested for violating a restraining order. He also said it's believed the shooting stemmed from Johnston starting a relationship with someone new and Diaz not being happy about it.
Ard said a Louisiana State Police unit was hit during the chase. He added speeds did not get over 90 mph.
Diaz was last arrested on March 3 for violation of protective orders. He was released from jail the following day after posting a $5,000 bond.
Officials reported the right lane of I-10 West on the bridge was blocked for a little more than an hour as investigators collected evidence.
The West Baton Rouge Coroner's Office confirmed Diaz's body was found in the grass near the levee after he jumped from the bridge.
According to Ard, the children have been placed with family members.
The investigation is ongoing.