Story Summary

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Deputies killed and wounded in ambush attacks

captureTwo St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, 34-year-old Brandon Nielsen and 27-year-old Jeremy Triche, were killed in the early hours of Thursday, August 16, 2012 in a pair of related shootings. Deputies Michael Scott Boyington and Jason Triche were seriously injured in the shootings.

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It’s hard to believe that one whole year has passed since two St. John the Baptist Parish deputies were killed in the line of duty.

Friday, the sheriff’s office paid tribute to the fallen deputies at New Wine Christian Fellowship Church in LaPlace. 

Deputies Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche were shot to death during an ambush at a trailer park.

Deputies Michael Boyington and Jason Triche were injured in the attack.

Deputy Jason Triche survived an ambush in August that left two fellow St. John Parish sheriff’s deputies dead.

Friends, family and even those who don`t know Deputy  Triche lined Belle Terre Blvd in the rain anxiously awaiting his arrival.

Just then, blue flashing lights on the horizon indicate their wait is over.

To their surprise the caravan escorting Deputy Triche stops.

Deputy Triche rolled down the window, hugged a few family members and said, “It feels good to be home.”

As brief as the impromptu pit stop was, seeing Deputy Triche alive and in good spirits was all family and friends could ask for.

The St. John sheriff’s office used facebook to get word out about the homecoming.

It’s not known when Deputy Triche or Deputy Michael Scott Boyington will be back at work.

Sheriff Mike Tregre says both are recuperating.

captureBefore Friday night’s New Orleans Saints preseason game in the Superdome, the crowd observed a moment of silence to honor the St John Parish deputies involved in a series of gunfights Thursday morning.

The Dome’s exterior lights also shined blue to honor the men.

Two of the deputies were killed. Two others remain in the hospital. Seven suspects are either behind bars or recovering from their gunshot wounds in area hospitals.

Friday morning, St John Sheriff Mike Tregre became emotional during a news conference as he announced the tribute.

captureJust one day after two deputies were shot and killed in an early morning ambush, the people of St. John Parish pay tribute.

Deputies Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche were both died.

The front lawn of the Percy Herbert building where the two fallen deputies would report to work every day is now lit with candles in their honor.

There was a moment of silence to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice of the slain deputies and to pray for the two other injured lawmen still in the hospital.

Deputies Michael Scott Boyington and Jason Triche are both listed in stable condition.

Beyond Friday’s candlelight vigil, more blood drives are planned.

Donation accounts have been set up at a number of area banks in Laplace.

Online donations can be made by going to the following websites:

captureJust as fast as news of the shootings spread in St John Parish, neighbors there rallied to help.

Latter and Blum Realtors in Destrehan are collecting donations for fallen deputy Brandon Nielsen’s wife and five children.

Since Wendy Benedetto is close, she`s spearheading the donation campaign to provide immediate needs, “Food or drinks or anything. Anything is welcomed. I`m going to take everything over to her at the end of each day so that she can enjoy it.”

Drop off donations for the Nielsen family at Latter and Blum in Destrehan during business hours.

Thursday, every station at the Blood Center in Laplace was occupied by people wanting to help.

The Blood Center is extending their hours.

There will also be a blood drive Friday at the sheriff’s office from 11am to 6pm.

captureThe next door neighbor of those arrested for their alleged role in the shooting and killing of two St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s deputies says he had to dodge and low crawl his way around bullets this morning for more than a half hour as deputies and suspects traded shots.

Medford Auguste, an oil refinery worker, said he had to rely on skills he learned while in the military to avoid being hit inside his LaPlace home at the Riverview Trailer Park.

He was not injured.

Auguste said he didn’t know his neighbors well, other than through exchanging casual hellos.

But Thursday morning, he would watch them get hauled away by law enforcement in the aftermath of a double deputy killing.

Five people in total were arrested.

One of the arrestees, neighbors said, was a bloody and bandaged woman.

It is unclear if she was hit by gunfire.

Of the four men arrested after the 5AM trailer park violence, at least one appeared wounded, neighbors reported.

As of 6:26pm Thursday, nearly 14 hours after the shootout, an estimated 30 to 50 state officers and agents from the FBI, ATF and US Marshal’s Office worked behind crime tape, sectioning off the area of the trailer park where the bullets flew.

Landlord Carl Chaisson told WGNO News an unnamed trailer owner was disgruntled over losing his job at the nearby Valero refinery, and as a result, got into a dispute with a deputy near or at the facility.

The dispute escalated, Chaisson said, and shots were then fired at St. John deputies in the area of refinery’s parking lot before the shooter returned to his trailer at Riverview.

Responding St. John deputies arrived shortly thereafter, and the trailer park shootout would ensue.

Neither St. John deputies nor Louisiana State Police, the leading investigative agency, would confirm Chaisson’s claims about the motives to WGNO News.

At a 3PM news conference, neither St. John Sheriff Mike Trege nor State Police Commander Mike Edmonson would comment on the motive when asked.

Chaisson said he was given his information about what led to the shootings by State Police detectives working the crime scene and interviewing tenants and witnesses.

Deputy Brandon Nielsen, 34, and deputy Jeremy Triche, 27, were shot and killed during the trailer park shootout.

Deputies Michael Scott Boyington, 33, and Jason Triche, 30, were wounded in first shooting.

Jeremy and Jason Triche were said by the St. John’s Sheriff’s Office to be distant relatives.

Chaisson said he was instructed by State Police Detectives not to release the names of any of those arrested this morning.

captureThe shooting of four St John the Baptist deputies is making news across the state and country.

The Shreveport Times is reporting that the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office is working with the FBI to identify the suspects. According to the paper, two men named Kyle Joekel and Brian Smith are the accused shooters. The paper also cites a sheriff’s office source to report Smith’s father and brother were also arrested. But the paper does not name a fifth suspect.

Also according to the Shreveport paper, DeSoto deputies had the suspects under surveillance two months ago after neighbors at a trailer park there reported seeing them with assault rifles.

The Beatrice Daily Sun in Gage County, Nebraska, is reporting that Joekel is also wanted there and in Kansas. The paper reports that Joekel is accused of threatening customers and police at a bar in Nebraska.

captureGovernor Bobby Jindal ordered flags at half staff to honor the deputies shot in St. John the Baptist Parish Thursday.

The governor says he and his wife were saddened to hear about the shootings.

The half-staff order stands until sunset Friday night.

A candlelight vigil for the deputies will be held Friday night.

It starts at 8:00 p.m. on the front lawn of the Percy Hebert building.

The public is invited to attend and join in a moment of silence for the dead and injured.

captureTwo St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, 34-year-old Brandon Nielsen and 27-year-old Jeremy Triche, were killed and two other deputies were wounded in a pair of related shootings early Thursday morning.

The wounded officers – Jason Triche and Scott Boyington – are hospitalized; they have been admitted into surgery and their exact condition has not been released, but they are expected to survive.

Five suspects are in custody. There are reports that two of the suspects were also shot and wounded, but Sheriff Mike Tregre has declined to confirm that detail. No formal charges have been filed against the suspects.

The first shooting happened just before 5 a.m. when Deputy Boyington was working a traffic detail on LA-3217, also called Bayou Steel Road, near US-61 (Airline Highway) when someone fired on his patrol car.

Deputy Boyington gave Sheriff’s investigators a description of the suspect’s vehicle, which was spotted and reported speeding a short time later. The search for the suspect led investigators to River View Trailer Court, where they located the vehicle and asked two men to come outside of a mobile home.

“When they were interviewing the two persons, the two subjects, another person exited that trailer with an assault weapon and ambushed, ambushed my two officers,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said, choking back tears.

Sheriff Tregre told WGNO News the investigation has been turned over to Louisiana State Police, which is standard protocol.

St. John Parish, along with Louisiana State Police, used SWAT teams, helicopters and search teams from both agencies to apprehend the at least two shooting suspects, according to LSP Sgt. Ann Dusang.