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Suspect in 5 slayings in Louisiana arrested at grandmother’s home in Virginia

This photo provided by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office shows Dakota Theriot on Sunday, Jan. 27,
Multiple slaying suspect Dakota Theriot on Jan. 27, 2019. Authorities say Theriot, who is suspected in two shootings that left five people dead in Louisiana, was arrested in Virginia.
(Richmond County, Va., Sheriff’s Office)

A man suspected of killing his parents and three other people -- including a woman he was dating -- was arrested Sunday when he showed up at his grandmother’s house in Virginia, a county sheriff said.

On Saturday, Dakota Theriot, 21, shot and killed three people — the woman believed to be his girlfriend, her brother and father — in Louisiana’s Livingston Parish before taking the father’s truck, driving to neighboring Ascension Parish and shooting his parents, authorities said.

Theriot’s grandmother, who lives in Warsaw, Va., had checked into a hotel Saturday night because she feared he might show up at her house, Richmond County, Va., Sheriff Stephan B. Smith said in a phone interview. The woman asked authorities to check her home Sunday morning to make sure it was safe before she returned.

While deputies were there, Smith said, Theriot drove up. He had a gun on him but he dropped it and was taken into custody without incident, Smith said.

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Theriot will be brought back to Ascension Parish to be booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons, according to a statement by Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre and Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard.

Smith said he believes the truck Theriot was driving when he arrived at his grandmother’s house was the one taken in Louisiana.

Authorities have identified the victims in Livingston Parish as Billy Ernest, 43, Tanner Ernest, 17, and Summer Ernest, 20. Ard said Summer Ernest and Dakota Theriot were in a relationship and that Theriot had been living with her family for a few weeks.

Authorities earlier identified the other two victims as Theriot’s parents — Keith and Elizabeth Theriot, both 50, of Gonzales.

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They were shot in their trailer on Saturday morning.

A woman who lived with the Theriots says Dakota had a loving relationship with his mother but argued, sometimes violently, with his father. Kim Mincks was in the house when the shooting happened but didn’t hear anything. She was awakened Saturday morning by law enforcement officers who came into her room.

She and Jacob Chastant, a friend who also lived in the trailer, returned to the trailer Sunday morning.

“His dad kicked him out of here. He did have a violent streak. He hurt his dad,” Mincks said.


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