Suspected thief who fired deputy's gun during struggle at BR Walmart caught in Indianapolis
BATON ROUGE - An alleged shoplifter accused of grabbing a sheriff's deputy gun was captured in the state of Indiana days after the encounter.
Gabriel Nicole Francis, 31, was apprehended in Indianapolis Wednesday with the help of Louisiana State Police and the U.S Marshal Service.
Sheriff's deputies said Francis was in a scuffle with a deputy and store employee who were investigating a theft complaint. In new information released Monday evening, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said Francis was seen in the Cortana Walmart switching tags for items and attempting to leave the store without paying for them. When confronted, Francis became combative and started to fight with the deputy, authorities said.
Eyewitnesses said Francis was on top of the deputy attempting to remove the deputy’s holstered handgun and caused it to fire while in the holster. Store staff also tried to help the deputy apprehend Francis in the moments leading up to the gunshot, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Francis ran away during the chaos caused by the gunshot but dropped his wallet while fleeing.
No one was struck by the bullet, and no injuries were reported.
Francis will be booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, resisting an officer, disarming a police officer, theft, felon in possession of a firearm and battery of a police officer.
A woman who allegedly helped Francis evade law enforcement was also arrested Tuesday.