“I believe the officer’s actions were justified,” said Sheriff Tregre while addressing the officer-involved shooting that left 20-year-old Jacoby Williams in critical condition. “I stand by him and with him on his actions.”
“This is a tragedy,” he added. “I wish it didn’t happen but it did, and here we are.”
According to the sheriff’s office, Williams was a passenger in a car driven by 19-year-old Kendell Prembrook.
Police say the men were driving when they abruptly stopped at the intersection of the Interstate 10 exit and U.S. Highway 51 in Laplace – where police say they sat for over an hour.
“At some point, his foot comes off the brake, goes through both lanes of traffic, northbound and southbound lane where he gets on the grass, driving in the grass, and will eventually go off-camera into a marsh,” described Tregre.
The sheriff’s office says they responded to calls about a car in the marsh, but say neither Williams or Prembrook got out for over 10 minutes.
Police say when deputies approached the car, they found two guns inside.
An AK47 was on Williams’ lap.
Authorities say deputy Shaquille Guerin ordered Williams to comply. He did initially, but then began to resist.
Jacoby Williams resisted and snatched away from the grab of the officer and grabbed the Ak 47.Sheriff Mike Tregre
That’s when Deputy Guerin shot Williams.
Williams’ family says he was shot in the face.
The sheriff’s office says the deputies immediately started performing first aid before Williams was taken to the hospital.
As for Prembrook, police say he lawyered up immediately.
“He has a lot to say on social media and the internet about how they called 911 and we shot them and nobody supposed to get called when they called 911,” said Tregre. “I have no records to indicate neither Kendell Prembrook or Mr. Jacoby Williams ever called St. John’s Sheriff’s Office or any other agency.”
Meanwhile, members of the NAACP believe there’s more to the story.
It was alleged, that they were directly involved in a shootout, And unfortunately, this sheriff went to save a life, and ended up almost losing a life.Shondrell Perrilloux, President of NAACP, St. John the Baptist Parish
The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Williams on four counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer and resisting an officer with force.
As for Prembrook, he was arrested for a traffic warrant, released, and issued a citation for careless operation.
While Tregre says this was justified, others say there’s more to the story.
The sheriff’s office says the deputy involved in this shooting is on paid administrative leave.
As for Williams, his family says they have no comment at this time and are focused on his recovery.