79°
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
7 Day Forecast
Follow our weather team on social media

WBR sheriff hires respected law enforcement experts to review questionable shooting exposed by Nakamoto

Related Story

PORT ALLEN — The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office has brought in two retired law enforcement experts to review a shooting that is raising all sorts of questions after a reserve deputy fired into the back of a fleeing car.

Greg Phares — a former sheriff and police chief in Baton Rouge — and former LSU Police Chief Bart Thompson have both been hired to look at the case. The investigation will determine whether criminal charges should be levied against the reserve officer who opened fire on the car.

Phares said he was limited as to what he could say with the ongoing investigation, but confirmed both he and Thompson are looking into it.

Last week, WBRZ uncovered an alarming video showing the moment a West Baton Rouge reserve deputy fired five rounds into the back of an SUV last summer. Internal affairs reports obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit show the deputy livestreamed it on Facebook.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit filed a public records request for the video and internal affairs reports on July 21. Public records indicate that an incident report was generated that same day, re-opening the investigation.

The SUV had been stolen from former Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown's residence on June 15, 2022. A deputy and a reserve deputy patrolling I-10 found the car heading west on the interstate near the LA 415 exit. They initiated a stop when they noticed it did not have a license plate. When the driver pulled over, one deputy got out to approach the vehicle, but the driver immediately takes off again.

"Stop. Put that f****** vehicle in park," Deputy Ryan Guidry is heard saying.

That's when Guidry's reserve deputy who was riding with him, Shawn Pardazi, opens fire on the SUV as it pulls off.

During an internal affairs investigation, it was learned that Pardazi was "live streaming" the event on his Facebook page.

Pardazi was asked about the video, but he told detectives he deleted it. Pardazi was using his personal firearm, not one issued by the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.

The incident was so concerning, eight months later Pardazi was fired from his reserve role.

"Deputy Pardazi, by recommendations from those administrators here, was to be removed from his status as a reserve deputy and that was taken upon learning of this incident," West Baton Rouge public information officer Landon Groger said.

The reports go on to say that Pardazi fired at the fleeing SUV because he saw the driver point a gun at his deputy partner. Those facts are in dispute, as the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office has said no gun was found, and it's unclear whether a gun was even in the car.

Two suspects were arrested in the SUV, but the driver still hasn't been located a year later.

"This matter was concerning to us at the sheriff's office," Groger said. "Immediate action was taken, and this reserve deputy's commission was removed and he was removed from service."

District Attorney Tony Clayton said the first time he saw the video was after WBRZ requested it. Clayton said his office will follow the evidence and is pleased that a full investigation is being conducted now. Clayton was emphatic that he wanted an outside agency investigating this case and believes the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office should not have investigated itself initially.

Clayton added that this is not the first time he's told them that. He pointed to the recent Mandy Miller case as an example. After public outcry, the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office called on the Legislative Auditor to investigate. Miller, a former West Baton Rouge employee, was convicted in federal court.

Pardazi's lawyers were scheduled to have a news conference Friday afternoon but canceled it.

News

Desktop News

Click to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Radar
7 Days