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Man arrested in plot to kill police speaks out, along with other suspects' families

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BATON ROUGE- Recently released from jail, a man implicated for having a stolen gun from a business in a plot to kill police is speaking out tonight.

Trashone Coats told WBRZ today, he had nothing to do with the burglary on the Cash America Pawn Shop over the weekend. Police confirm that.

Instead, investigators said Antonio Thomas, Malik Bridgewater and a 13-year old juvenile are responsible.

Bridgewater and Thomas's families say they both suffered from mental illness. Both families also say they are followers. That combo proved to be a bad mix when law enforcement foiled a plan to kill police.

"I want to let them know my intentions were not to kill no police officers," Coats told WBRZ Wednesday.

Coats says he was walking down the street when he was approached by a group of kids wanting to sell him some guns.

"They said they wanted $90 for the Barreta and $70 for the 40," Coats said. "I was looking at the guns, that's how my fingerprints got on the guns."
When police arrived, the kids took off and Coats got caught with the two stolen weapons the kids were trying to sell. His mom is fuming tonight at law enforcement.

"I hope they burn in hell," Monique White said. "I hope all of them burn in hell."

White says her son has never been in trouble with law enforcement, something court records confirm. Tonight, we're also getting a better look at the lives of the other two suspects, arrested in the foiled attempt to kill officers at protests for Alton Sterling. All of this stemmed from the burglary of the Cash America Pawn Shop on Government Street Saturday where eight weapons were stolen. Federal agents got involved looking for those guns, raiding a house WBRZ filmed exclusively Monday. Antonio Thomas and Malik Bridgewater are implicated in the heist.

Annette Vaughn is Thomas' aunt and can't believe he was on the streets.

"He was in a mental institution," Vaughn said. "They brought him to Baton Rouge, somehow he got away. He's been on the loose for the longest."

Vaughn is not sure if Thomas was capable of carrying out the plan to kill police. Neither is Kimberly Bridgewater, another relative trying to wake up from a nightmare, after her son Malik was also arrested.

"He just moves faster than his brain," Bridgewater said. "He probably do something crazy and think about it after the fact."

Bridgewater and Thomas both remain locked up tonight. Both are charged with felony burglary for the pawn shop heist and theft of a firearm.

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