Crime

UPDATE: West Monroe Police Officer On Leave After Fatal Shooting

WEST MONROE, LA -- West Monroe Police Chief Jeff Terrell says the officer involved in a deadly shooting from Thuesday night is now on paid administrative leave.

Chief Terrell says the investigation is being conducted by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office because it is standard procedure for his agency not to investigate themselves.

Chief Terrell says the name of the officer won't be released at this time, but says this is the first time this officer has been involved in a shooting. 

The shooting happened Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Now $ave store on N. 7th Street in West Monroe. 

The name of the officer involved is not being released at this time, but the suspect is believed to be Raymon Keith Martinez. 

He died a while later at a local hospital. 

"He is a homeless guy that wouldn't harm a fly," said John McDaniels, who claimed to know the man and would help him with food and money.

Employees of businesses along the shopping strip where the gas station is located, along with local residents in that area say the suspect was a homeless Vietnam War veteran who had a drinking problem.  

"He said when he wasn't drinking he had to remember and he didn't want to remember. He never bothered anybody," said one neighbor who knew the suspect but did not want to be identified. 

Many people say Martinez was always hanging out in front of the convenience store, but residents say they do not believe he was harmful. 

Employees inside the store tell us that they called WMPD Thursday night about the unidentified man. It's unknown exactly why, but neighbors say because the man would stand outside and beg for money, employees would call the police on him often.

The circumstances leading up to the shooting still isn't known at this time.

Chief Terrell says sometimes officers get into threatening situations.

"It's a dangerous world out there, and we are just happy the officer is safe," he said.

The chief says the officer involved has been placed on leave while the investigation is completed by the sheriff's office.

"Any officer involved in a shooting is going to be on paid leave," he said.

He adds it is standard for another agency to investigate since it would not be fair for the West Monroe Police Department to handle the case.

"We are not having any part in the investigation which is normal. You want someone unbiased to complete the investigation," Terrell said.

The sheriff's office says when completed everything will be sent to the District Attorney's office.

Both the West Monroe Police Department and the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office say the expect to continue collecting information for the next several days. 
During the investigation. both agencies say little information will be released. 
 

(ORIGINAL STORY) --
West Monroe Police confirm to KTVE/KARD they are currently investigating an officer-involved shooting in West Monroe.

The call for law enforcement response to the area went out just after 7 p.m.

According to our KTVE/KARD crew on the scene, there is a large police presence in front of the "Now $ave" store on N. 7th Street in West Monroe.

KTVE/KARD's Nick Lawton reports seeing a high concentration of evidence markers at the front of the store where investigators are taking pictures. He reports seeing more than a dozen bullet holes in the front wall.

John McDaniels, who claims to know the victim, says the victim is described as a white male who is homeless.

"He wouldn't harm a fly. He's gonna ask you for two things: beer or a cigarette. He may beg for a little change or something. We all have fed him around here," he said.

Jelicia George, who also lives in the area, said she just saw the man a few days ago.

"I never knew him to be a harmful guy, or something that would get him shot, I was just surprised," she said.

Louisiana State Police has arrived on the scene. Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Deputies are also assisting West Monroe PD in the investigation.

We have not been given any reports of any possible injuries yet.

We will bring you the latest details once we receive them.

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