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WBRSO identifies deputy who shot man in back of neck in motel

1 month 6 days 3 hours ago Thursday, August 15 2019 Aug 15, 2019 August 15, 2019 2:42 PM August 15, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT ALLEN- The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office identified the deputy who shot Josef Richardson in the back of the neck as Vance Matranga. Matranga was executing a search warrant at the Budget 7 motel last month when he opened fire. 

He was hired by the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office in 2010 as a reserve deputy. He went full-time in 2012. 

The River West Narcotics Task Force was executing a search warrant looking for drugs on July 25, when Matranga entered the motel room and opened fire. Richardson died at the scene. 

Richardson's girlfriend, Jessica Clouatre, was taken into custody and arrested for drugs. Her attorney said at a news conference in the weeks following the shooting that they both had their hands up at the time the shooting took place. 

The shooting captured the attention of national civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Crump flew in from out of state and has attended two different news conferences where the family has demanded answers from investigating agencies. They have called for the feds to step in and investigate. 

Since the shooting, the WBRZ Investigative Unit has been looking into Matranga's background. 

In 2017 Fredrick Johnson filed an excessive force lawsuit in federal court against Vance Matranga and other West Baton Rouge Parish law enforcement entities.

Johnson alleges in the suit, "...Matranga and/or Mims [another officer involved] purposefully and intentionally rammed Johnson with their police vehicle breaking Johnson's leg. Matranga and/or Mims had no reason to believe Johnson was involved in or being sought in relation to a felony."

A year later, the WBRZ Investigative Unit found Matranga was cited for crashing his sheriff's unit into a box truck. he was cited for carelessness and given a warning.

Matranga's file is full of certificates and accolades during his time at the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office. He was awarded for his heroism for an incident in 2011. Matranga fired his weapon and was given the medal of valor for conspicuous and intrepid gallantry. During that incident, a man was arrested for shooting at a state trooper. Matranga responded and shot the suspect. The suspect survived and is currently in jail.

Attorneys representing Richardson's family said they are consulting with one another on their next steps. The sheriff's office met with the family before releasing Matranga's name to the media Thursday.

The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said Matranga is a firearms instructor and member of the SWAT team. He remains on paid leave pending the outcome of Louisiana State Police's investigation. 

We checked with state police today, they said they have nothing new to report on the case.

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