State Police Investigating Officer Involved Shooting in Pointe Coupee Parish

Published 11:23 am Thursday, December 23, 2021

Update: The preliminary investigation revealed shortly before 6:00 p.m., on December 22, 2021, a Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Deputy and a Livonia Police Department Officer responded to a disturbance call on Cleveland Road in the Town of Fordoche.

Area residents had called 911, and reported that a suspect, who was later identified as 48-year-old Jessie Lee Gaither IV of Opelousas, drove his truck through the front of a residence, which resulted in substantial damage. Gaither then exited the vehicle brandishing a knife in one hand and a gun in the other.  After attempting to set the house on fire, Gaither left the residence, walking up the street.  Area residents reported the subject’s actions and that he was armed with a gun.

As officers arrived on the scene they made contact with Gaither. As officers made contact, he brandished a knife. Officers gave Gaither repetitive verbal commands to stop advancing towards them; however, he refused. An officer then attempted to subdue Gaither by discharging his Taser, but it was unsuccessful. Gaither then brandished a firearm, which was later determined to be a flare gun, and discharged it at the officers. An officer then discharged his firearm striking Gaither.

Gaither sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Pointe Coupee Parish Coroner’s Office.

Original Release

December 22, 2021

                                                    

Fordoche – On December 22, 2021, The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations was requested by the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office to investigate a fatal officer involved shooting involving one of their deputies and a Livonia Police Department Officer.

One subject is deceased on the scene. No officers were injured during this incident. The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab will process the scene for all evidence.

This is an active investigation and further information will be released when it becomes available.