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Pointe Coupee shooting began as kidnapping in Avoyelles Parish

9 months 3 weeks 2 days ago February 16, 2016 Feb 16, 2016 Tuesday, February 16 2016 February 16, 2016 5:43 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

INNIS - A "vigilante" shooting in Pointe Coupee Parish Monday afternoon happened after a kidnapping in Avoyelles Parish, according to Louisiana State Police.

Investigators say 40-year-old Mario Celestino kidnapped his ex-girlfriend's mother and demanded the location of her daughter. While traveling through Pointe Coupee Parish, a sheriff's deputy pulled Celestino over.

State Police Maj. Doug Cain says Celestino got out the car holding a gun. The deputy demanded that the man give up the gun. After getting on the ground Celestino took off and a foot chase ensued.

"At some point a third party comes into the scene and gets involved and interjects himself unrequested, unannounced by the deputy," said Cain.

That's when investigators say Gaspard fired one shot killing Celestino. The shooting happened right in front of the deputy, so the sheriff's office turned over the case to State Police. Now Gaspard faces a manslaughter count.

"Was lethal force justified? That's something that's going to have to be discussed," said Cain. "We consulted with the DA and felt manslaughter was appropriate charge, but certainly that will be up to the district attorney and the courts to decide."

Gaspard was released from jail on a $100,000 bond Tuesday.

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