LSP: Victim identified in Pointe Coupee officer-involved shooting


POINTE COUPEE PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana State Police are identifying the person who was killed in an officer-involved shooting on Wednesday.

Around 6:0 p.m., 48-year-old Jessie Lee Gaither IV, of Opelousas, was shot and killed by a police officer in Pointe Coupee Parish.

It was around that time that a member of the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office and Livonia Police Department were called to a disturbance call.

Officers arrived at a residence on Cleveland Rd. after receiving 911 calls.

According to the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office, Gaither IV “drove his truck through the front of a residence, which resulted in substantial damage.”

Gaither IV was then seen leaving the vehicle with a weapon in either hand.

The Opelousas man “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,” according to the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Officers were warned by local residents that Gaither IV was carrying a gun.

In reality, Gaither IV was carrying a knife when law enforcement attempted to engage the 48-year-old man.

Upon arrival, “Officers gave Gaither IV repetitive verbal commands to stop advancing towards them; however, he refused,” according to the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Officers tried to tase Gaither IV but were unsuccessful.

At some point, Gaither IV took out a gun and fired it at officers.

A police officer returned fire and Gaither IV was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators later determined that Gaither IV had taken out a flare gun.

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