Dakota Theriot
Livingston Parish Sheriff

Dakota Theriot is suspected in two shootings that killed five people in Louisiana

January 26, 2019 06:53 PM

Police are in pursuit of a 21-year-old man suspected of shooting five people — including his parents — in Louisiana on Saturday.

Dakota Theriot is suspected in two shootings: three people were killed in Livingston Parish, which is south of Baton Rouge, and two died in the nearby Ascension Parish, police said.

Theriot has been charged with two counts first-degree murder, illegal use of weapons and home invasion, according to a statement from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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

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

Both victims were alive when the police arrived and survived long enough to be transported to a local hospital, but they have since died.

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

Police have a warrant for Dakota’s arrest and believe he is driving a 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup truck, which is gray on top and silver on the bottom, towards Mississippi.

“This is probably one of the worst domestic violence [incidents] I’ve seen in quite a while,” Webre added.

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Webre said 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. After sharing information, authorities now believe both shootings are connected.

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In a statement from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Jason Ard confirmed that deputies were dispatched around 9:00 a.m. Authorities later identified the three victims as Billy Ernest, 43, Tanner Ernest, 17, and Summer Ernest, 20.

“We do not believe the suspect to be in Livingston Parish at this time. We are working in conjunction with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office as we believe our case is connected to a homicide investigation in that parish,” Ard said in a statement. “Our investigation is ongoing.”

At least one of three victims was a friend of Theriot’s, the sheriff’s office said, according to CNN.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

A spokesperson for the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office told the Huffington Post that police suspect Dakota may have killed the three people in Livingston before heading to his parents’ nearby home.

Police are still working to determine a motive for the two shootings, CNN reported.

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