Dakota Theriot was arrested and is currently being held in jail without bond

By Maria Pasquini
January 27, 2019 03:08 PM
Credit: Richmond County Sheriff's Office

Dakota Theriot — who is suspected of fatally shooting five people — was arrested in Virginia on Sunday.

In a joint statement from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, authorities confirmed that Theriot, 21, was arrested in Richmond County on Sunday morning.

Theriot is suspected of killing his girlfriend and her brother and father at their home in Livingston — where he had been living after he was kicked out of his parents’ home a few weeks earlier — on Saturday, a spokesperson for the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office told PEOPLE.

Theriot then drove to his parent’s nearby home in Ascension Parish, where is suspected of shooting and killing them, police said.

According to the joint statement, Theriot will later be transported back to Ascension Parish and booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons.

Richmond County is over 1,000 miles away from Ascension Parish.

Dakota Theriot
| Credit: Livingston Parish Sheriff

Theriot was arrested by two sheriff’s deputies around 8:00 a.m. on Sunday after he arrived at a family member’s house, police told PEOPLE.

Prior to the arrest, authorities in Richmond received information that Theriot “was believed to have family ties” in the area, and were checking “places Theriot was known to associate,” according to a statement from the Richmond County Sheriff’s office.

During their search, deputies received a call from a family member who asked that their home be checked before they returned, police said.

Sheriff Stephan Smith told Lousiana newspaper The Advocate that the family member was identified as Theriot’s grandmother, adding that she had stayed in a hotel the previous night in case Theriot tried to contact her.

While deputies were on site, Theriot “arrived at the residence in a motor vehicle with a firearm pointed out of the window,” according to the statement.

Upon command, Theriot dropped his weapon and he was taken into custody “without incident,” police said.

Theriot is currently being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail without bond until his next court appearance, according to the statement, which did not specify the court date.

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In a press conference held on Saturday, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said that police received a call around 8:45 a.m. that morning about “two victims who had been shot in their trailer.” Police believe the shooting appears to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.

Webre went on to identify the victims as the suspect’s parents, Elizabeth Theriot, 50, and her husband, Keith Theriot, also 50.

According to the sheriff, when police arrived at the scene, Keith, who was still alive at the time, was able to identify his son as the shooter.

During the press conference, Webre also revealed that Dakota had briefly lived in the trailer with his parents, but “was recently asked to leave the residence and not to return.”

The sheriff went on to say that during the course of their investigation, he learned that the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office was investigating a triple-homicide that occurred on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Livingston Sheriff’s Office confirmed to PEOPLE that Theriot is suspected of killing Billy Ernest, 43, Tanner Ernest, 17, and Summer Ernest, 20, around 8 a.m. that morning.

Theriot and Summer had only recently started dating at the time of the shooting, according to the Washington Post.

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Police believe that after shooting Summer and her family members, Theriot stole her father’s car, a Dodge pickup truck, before driving to his parents’ home, according to the Washington Post.

Two children inside the Livingstone home, ages 7 and 1, were unharmed, the outlet reported. The children are currently with their mother, according to CNN.

Theriot has previously been arrested once for possession of drug paraphernalia, CNN reported.

“This is probably one of the worst domestic violence [incidents] I’ve seen in quite a while,” Sheriff Webre said in his Saturday press conference.

The investigation is ongoing and a motive has yet to be revealed.