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Livingston's deadly case of domestic violence sheds light on national problem

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LIVINGSTON - Livingston Parish Sheriff's Deputies say a married couple is dead after a shooting on Hwy. 444 in Livingston Monday night.

Authorities have confirmed it was a murder-suicide, which occurred in the 20000 block of Hwy. 444 sometime before 10:30 p.m.

The deceased have been identified as Patrick A. Toney and Sherry C. Toney.

At this time, authorities say evidence shows that Patrick shot his wife and then shot himself. Authorities say, there was an argument between the two before shots were fired.

Experts on domestic violence are asking victims to seek help following the violent incident Monday night. 

"It's very complex," said Pamela Hutcheson, of Southeast Advocates of Family Empowerment. 

The organization provides resources to domestic violence victims and, in some cases, helps them find ways to safely leave an abusive relationship.
"First, we ask them, 'What kind of help do you want?'" Hutcheson said. "If it's that they want to leave, then we talk about a safety plan."
Recent studies show Louisiana is third in the nation in domestic violence cases.

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