Louisiana man accused of killing five, including his parents, arrested in Virginia

Posted at 3:19 PM, Jan 27, 2019

A Louisiana man accused of murdering five people in a killing spree was arrested Sunday morning in Richmond County, Virginia, police said.

Dakota Theriot, 21, was taken into custody by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, ending a manhunt that started Saturday morning after his parents and three others were killed in Louisiana.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Sunday that they were informed by authorities in Louisiana that Dakota Theriot may have lived in Richmond County and still had family there.

Sheriff Stephan Smith said Theriot’s grandmother asked deputies to go by her home because “she was concerned he may be coming there.”

When Theriot arrived at the home, deputies were already there. The sheriff’s office said the suspect, who had driven from Louisiana, allegedly pointed a gun out a car window causing deputies to seek cover.

He was ordered to drop his weapon and was arrested him without incident, the sheriff’s department said.

He is being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail without bond pending a court appearance, and will be transported back to Ascension Parish, Louisiana, where his parents, Keith and Elizabeth Theriot, were found shot inside their trailer.

Image: Dakota Theriot was taken into custody in Virginia after killing five people in Louisiana on Jan. 27, 2019.
Dakota Theriot was taken into custody in Virginia after killing five people in Louisiana on Jan. 27, 2019. Richmond County Sheriff

Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said during a press conference Saturday afternoon that deputies were called to the Theriot’s home in Gonzales, about 25 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, around 8:45 a.m. CST.

Keith Theriot was still alive at the time and gave deputies information “that his son, Dakota Theriot, is going to be our prime suspect,” Webre said.

Keith Theriot and his wife, Elizabeth, were airlifted to a hospital in Baton Rouge where they later died.

Before allegedly shooting his parents, authorities said they believed Dakota Theriot fatally shot Summer Ernest, 20, her father Billy Ernest, 43, and her brother Tanner Ernest, 17, at their home in Livingston Parish.

Investigators said they believe Summer Ernest was Dakota Theriot’s girlfriend, and he had been living at the home with her family for a couple of weeks. Webre said Saturday that Theriot had lived with his parents for a time, but was recently asked to move out and not return.

Charlene Bordelon, who lives next to the Ernests, told The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge that the family’s two youngest children, both younger than 8, fled to her home after the shooting. She said the children were not injured.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Sunday morning that Theriot faces charges of two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion, and illegal use of weapons for the murders that happened in their parish.

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said Saturday that the suspect also faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle and three counts of first-degree murder for the killings of the Ernest family members.

“This is probably one of the worst domestic violence incidents I’ve seen in quite a while,” Webre told reporters Saturday.