State Police promise 'immediate' policy changes after trooper's murder went unnoticed for hours
BATON ROUGE - As the chaos of Saturday settled into mourning, State Police shifted focused to two investigations: The violent rampage of the suspect who shot or tried to shoot a handful of people, including state troopers, in three parishes and the unsettling case of how a trooper’s dead body was left unattended all day.
During a news conference Monday, State Police Superintendent Lamar Davis said the frantic search for alleged gunman Matthew Mire led to the agency restricting radio traffic and created a "perfect storm" that caused Master Trooper Adam Gaubert's murder to go unnoticed until later Saturday afternoon.
Davis promised the agency would make immediate changes to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Gaubert was found dead in his patrol unit in an unassuming parking lot behind a bank at the corner of Airline Highway and Old Jefferson Highway Saturday evening. Gaubert, it’s believed, was shot hours before he was found - sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday - in a suspect’s violent tirade through Ascension, East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.
Gaubert, a 19-year veteran of the State Police force and a veteran of the United States Army was a trooper that exemplified the agency’s highest priorities “honor, duty, selfless service and courage,” State Police Col. Lamar Davis said in a late-night news conference live on WBRZ just before midnight.
WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto learned from sources Gaubert was shot in an area that is hidden from the busy highway of Airline Highway less than 400 feet away. Sources told Nakamoto, after hours of not hearing from Gaubert on radio communication, a fellow trooper went looking for him. Gaubert was found slain behind the Capital One bank at Airline and Old Jefferson. A heavy police presence was noticed at the bank parking lot before 6 p.m. Saturday, more than 12 hours after Gaubert is presumed to have been attacked.
When asked by WBRZ about the timeline, Col. Davis of the Louisiana State Police, could not elaborate late Saturday. He said the agency would “fully investigate all aspects of this incident.”
“We are investigating [how Gaubert went unfound for so long]. There are some inconsistencies, information we’re trying to gather [and it’s all] currently under investigation,” Davis said in a news conference on WBRZ late Saturday night.
Davis said the suspect in the day-long attacks in three parishes and an exhaustive manhunt, Matthew Mire, ambushed Master Trooper Gaubert in his patrol unit.
Davis did not elaborate on his insinuation there was a breakdown in details about what happened before and after Gaubert was attacked. He added the agency is still piecing together the trooper’s activities and those of the suspect, including how Gaubert may have been involved in responding to the initial crime scene in Ascension Parish where Mire is accused of killing a woman and shooting and injuring a man.
Gaubert could have been one of the responding officers to the situation. State Police are “investigating Master Trooper Gaubert’s role in [responding to] the early morning homicide case,” the State Police colonel said.
Gaubert’s death was “senseless and tragic,” Col. Davis said.
“It’s a tough night, one of the toughest nights of my entire career. It hurts. But, we will get through it,” Davis added.
Gaubert is one of just more than two dozen State Police agents to have been killed in the line of duty in 100 years. Visit the memorial web page here.
Mire, the suspect, is tied to the shooting death of Master Trooper Gaubert, the death of a woman in Ascension Parish, the shooting and injuring of a man in Ascension and a double shooting where victims survived in Livingston Parish. Mire was captured after a day-long manhunt near where Hoo Shoo Too Road meets the Amite River and Bayou Manchac along the East Baton Rouge - Ascension Parish line around 10 o’clock Saturday night. Earlier Saturday, Mire is also accused of trying to shoot another state trooper.