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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Gunman Kills Two Before Gunfight With Police Death and End in Parish

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CHICAGO — A gunman opened fire at a gun store in Harrison, La., killing two people and wounding two others, including a civilian, before he died in the attack early Thursday, authorities said.

The shooter was identified as Robert Billiot Jr., 43, of Hammond, La., said Sheriff Donald V Traxler of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The gunman walked into the East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s office, then left to a gun store in Harrison and returned a short time later, opening fire, Traxler said. Traxler identified the shooter as Robert Billiot Jr., 43, of Hammond, La.

The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m. Thursday outside East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office headquarters in Baton Rouge. Traxler said the gunman went to the sheriff’s office and was greeted by a female employee, who called 911.

Traxler identified one of the shooters as Billiot, saying he was found with two semi-automatic pistols, a rifle and a handgun. Billiot had “made statements” about killing himself, Traxler said.

The gunman was shot by sheriff’s deputies when he went to the store. He died at the scene, Traxler said.

The shooting and its aftermath resulted in a 10-hour lockdown that covered surrounding communities, including a large portion of the parish.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux told CBS News that earlier on Thursday there was an active shooter situation at an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office complex near the Home Depot. No one was found dead at the scene and the situation was brought under control around 9 a.m. EST.

The lockdown order also included a portion of the Washington/East Baton Rouge Parish line, he said. The children of those in the area were not released during the search.

Gautreaux said it was a “heartbreaking, sad day.”

“I think this is a senseless act and I hope it’s a wake-up call for people,” Gautreaux said.

Gautreaux said he was devastated and shocked by the violence. “We just need to get over it,” he said.

A home improvement chain later tweeted: “We are deeply saddened by this shooting. Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved.”

—The Associated Press

Photo: Courtesy of local media

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