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Ponchatoula residents shaken up after deputy shot, killed man Monday

1 week 4 days 14 hours ago Tuesday, April 02 2024 Apr 2, 2024 April 02, 2024 7:21 PM April 02, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

PONCHATOULA - Residents on Madison Lane are scared and mourning after a deputy-involved shooting struck the community and took the life of one of its residents.

Tangipahoa Parish deputies responded to a call on Madison Lane around 5 p.m. Monday. According to the Louisiana State Police, deputies tried to serve an order of protective custody — a document that allows someone to be involuntarily committed for up to three days — when they came into contact with 20-year-old Warren Burton. Troopers said Burton was armed with a firearm. Police said Burton was asked to drop his weapon before he pointed the firearm toward deputies and one shot him.

Burton died at the scene.

"I was inside the kitchen and I heard a pop, a single shot, what I thought was a shot," said Martin Berhel, a resident who lives across the street from Burton. "I poked my head out and I saw the lady run out, and she said, 'Call the ambulance! They shot him! They shot him! They shot him!'"

According to residents on Madison Lane, the shooting occurred inside the home, and neighborhood kids were playing outside in the street when Burton was killed. 

Melanie Wheat, a mother who lives along Madison Lane, said she pulled into the neighborhood an hour after the shooting. 

"All the cop cars and the house taped off, it was kind of scary especially not knowing what happened," Wheat said as she gazed around her block.

Madison Lane was eerily quiet Monday as residents hid behind shutters and kept doors and blinds closed. A woman opened her front door with tears in her eyes, saying she heard the gunshots Monday and was terrified.

"It's a very quiet neighborhood. Children play on the street, people walk their dogs," Berhel said.

Berhel said she believes Burton had mental health issues and his mother called the police when Burton started to get violent.

"I was a little upset because this happened across the street, but it more to me brings to mind that we have to deal with our mental health issues," Berhel said. "We can't ignore this, this is something that needs to be dealt with."

When news cars flooded the neighborhood Tuesday, Wheat and her two sons were playing in their yard. She was flustered and frustrated.

"Just like, you're trying to keep them safe and knowing that there was guns and shots being fired from either direction and a gun being pulled, it's kind of scary knowing we could have been outside and a stray bullet could have hit," Wheat said.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office did not answer questions regarding the work status of the deputies.

"We look out for each other," Berhel said. "This is (a) very isolated, very quiet street. This doesn't happen here."

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