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Man crashed truck into house, tried to set fire before being shot by law enforcement

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FORDOCHE - State Police revealed new information about a shooting involving law enforcement where a person was shot and killed by an unidentified officer.

The incident happened Wednesday evening in Pointe Coupee.  As is customary, State Police is handling the investigation.

The situation unfolded around 6 p.m. Wednesday on Cleveland Road in Fordoche. 

Troopers said a Pointe Coupee Sheriff's deputy and a Livonia Police officer were involved.

The man shot and killed was identified as Jessie Lee Gaither IV of Opelousas.  State Police said the two officers were responding to reports Gaither was walking down Cleveland Road with a knife and what appeared to be a gun.  

Troopers said Gaither drove a pickup truck into a house and tried to set the house on fire.  As he walked away, people nearby saw him with the weapons, authorities said.

Eyewitnesses reported Gaither was armed with a gun.

When officers arrived, Gaither pulled out the knife and rushed the two officers, troopers said in a preliminary report.  One of the two officers tased Gaither but the stun was not successful in subduing him.  As Gaither continued to fight, troopers said, he pulled out a flare gun and fired it at the officers.  As Gaither fired the flare, one of the officers shot and killed Gaither.

Gaither's son, Jessie Guidry, says his father was loved by the community.

"I just feel devastated. I never thought something like this could ever happen to me. "My daddy was a good person. He wasn't known to be out here like that."

Troopers did not elaborate on whether the deputy or the town officer fired the taser or the gun. 

No officers were hurt.

Immediately after the incident Wednesday, State Police said the initial situation was a reported domestic dispute. 

 

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