Police have captured a 21-year-old Louisiana man who allegedly murdered his girlfriend, her father, and her brother—and then drove to his parents’ home and killed them, too.
Dakota Theriot, who police had warned was “armed and dangerous” was nabbed in Virginia after a day on the lam, authorities announced Sunday morning.
After the killings, he drove 16 hours to Warsaw, Virginia, where his grandmother lives, Richmond County Sheriff Stephan Smith told the Baton Rouge Advocate.
Theriot’s grandmother had cleared out of the house and stayed in a hotel overnight. Police went to the home on Sunday morning to check on it.
“While Deputies were on site, Theriot arrived at the residence in a motor vehicle with a firearm pointed out of the window,” the sheriff said in a Facebook post. “The Deputies sought cover and challenged Theriot, who then dropped the firearm upon their commands and was taken into custody without incident.”
Theriot is expected to be charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder in a case that local authorities said was one the bloodiest domestic violence incidents they had encountered.
In Louisiana, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said at a news conference Saturday afternoon that police were called to a mobile home in Gonzales at 8:45 a.m. and found Elizabeth and Keith Theriot, 51, with gunshot wounds.
“Both were alive at the time,” Webre said, adding that one of them was able to tell police that the gunman was their son, Dakota.
Both victims were rushed to the hospital, but died. Around the same time, Webre learned that police in Livingston Parish were investigating a triple homicide in Walker.
“We come to realize these two cases are related,” he said.
The victims in Livingston parish were identified as Summer Ernest, 20, who was Theriot’s girlfriend; her father, Billy, 43; and her brother Tanner, 17. Two younger children were not harmed.
Police said there had been strife between the suspect and his parents, who had recently thrown him out of the house, and that the violence was sparked by some kind of dispute between Theriot and his girlfriend.
“This is probably one of the worst domestic violence incidents I’ve seen in quite a while,” Webre said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had anything of this nature, of this magnitude with domestic violence, but you never know when it’s going to rear it’s ugly head.”
The Ernests’ neighbor, Charlenne Bordelon, told the Advocate that the two younger children in the family ran to her home early Saturday for help.
“It’s so heartbreaking,” Bordelon said.
Michael Logan, who lives next door to the slain Theriots, told the Advocate he had heard arguing coming from the residence lately.
“There’s been a lot of yelling matches,” he said.