A 21-year-old man Louisiana wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of his parents and three other people was arrested in Virginia, authorities said Sunday.
Dakota Theriot will be transported from Richmond County to Ascension Parish and booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre and Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said in a statement.
On Saturday, Ascension Parish deputies had been called to a trailer in the city of Gonzales, where they found Dakota’s parents, Elizabeth Theriot, and Keith Theriot, both 51, with gunshot wounds but still alive.
The couple, who later died at a hospital, were able to identify Dakota as the suspect in the shooting, Webre said Saturday.
He said Dakota had lived with his parents briefly but had been asked to leave and not return.
Authorities in Livingston Parish say the suspect is believed to have gone to his parents’ home after first killing his other three victims, Billy Ernest, 43, his son Tanner, 17, and daughter Summer, 20, in Livingston Parish, south of the city. Ard said Theriot had recently been in a relationship with Summer Ernest.
Crystal DeYoung, Billy Ernest’s sister, told the Associated Press that she believes Theriot and Summer Ernest had just begin dating.
“My family met him last weekend at a birthday party and didn’t get good vibes from him,” DeYoung said. “My mom is a good judge of character and she just thought he was not good.”
Webre said Theriot did not have a police record in Ascension Parish, but he did have run-ins with law enforcement in St. John, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.
The Ernests’ neighbor, Charlene Bordelon, told The Advocate the two youngest children in the Ernest family fled to her home after the shooting. Bordelon said the two children, both under 8 years old, were not wounded. Bordelon called 911 after the children told her their father, brother and sister were dead.
“She was terrified,” Bordelon said of the little girl, tears welling in her eyes. “It’s so heartbreaking.”