A police officer was shot and killed yesterday when he responded to a call from a house where three women had been stabbed, one of them fatally, in a Louisiana town about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge, says the sheriff of rural St. Landry Parish. The man accused in the attacks drove from the house in Sunset, a town of about 2,900, and into a convenience store about three blocks away, barricading himself in an office and telling police that he wouldn't come out and was ready to fight, the sheriff says. He says SWAT team members lobbed tear gas and "C-gas" into the building, then broke in using hammers and fire axes to arrest 35-year-old Harrison Lee Riley Jr.
The sheriff identified the dead as Officer Henry Nelson, 51, and Shameka Johnson, 40. Johnson's sister, Shurlay Johnson, is in critical condition and Riley's wife, Courtney Jolivette Riley, is in stable condition, he says. The sheriff says Nelson and Riley were cousins, and the officer was apparently killed with his own handgun. The chief of police in Sunset says Nelson, a 13-year veteran of the force, was a friendly, outgoing man who had planned to begin a month's vacation today to spend time with his teenage daughter. Riley faces charges that include first-degree murder and first-degree murder of a police officer. (Another Louisiana police officer was killed on Sunday by a man whose pickup truck had run into a ditch.)