A Louisiana State Police trooper will not face criminal charges after a September incident in downtown Hammond, LA that started as a traffic stop and ended when the trooper fired into the fleeing vehicle, fatally shooting its driver.
The 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office released documents Monday that detail the State Police investigation and explain why District Attorney Scott Perrilloux recently decided the shooting was justified, reports the Advocate. Those reasons include concern for bystanders who could have been placed in danger if the driver—who appeared intoxicated during the traffic stop—had successfully fled the scene.
The trooper was identified in State Police records as Andre Bezou. "Trooper Bezou noted that he immediately suspected intoxication when he encountered LeBlanc and was fearful that allowing LeBlanc to speed away recklessly would endanger the innocent bystanders that were present in downtown Hammond," according to a report from prosecutors explaining their decision not to seek charges.
Toxicology tests from the night of driver Coltin LeBlanc's death showed his blood alcohol content was 0.206, which is over twice the state's 0.08 legal presumption of drunk driving. Prosecutors took that into consideration when determining whether the shooting was justified.