Police in the US state of Virginia have arrested a gunman suspected of killing five people, including his parents, in two separate but related shootings in the US state of Louisiana.
The shootings happened in the parishes of Ascension and Livingston, south of the state capital of Baton Rouge.
Authorities say 21-year-old Dakota Theriot fled in a stolen grey and silver Dodge Ram pick-up truck. Theriot then drove more than 1,000 miles east to Richmond County in Virginia, where he was arrested Sunday morning following a day-long manhunt that spanned multiple states.
Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said said the rampage began shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday, when authorities in Livingston Parish, east of Baton Rouge, received a 911 call about three victims who had been shot. Those victims were the suspect’s girlfriend, Summer Earnest, 20; her father, Billy Earnest, 43; and her younger brother, Tanner Earnest, 17.
Ard said there were two children inside the home, ages 7 and 1. They were not harmed.
Reports suggest Dakota Theriot was in a relationship with Summer.
Theriot then stole Billy Earnest’s 2004 Dodge pickup truck and drove to Ascension Parish, about 30 miles away, and shot his parents, Elizabeth and Keith Theriot, inside their trailer, authorities said.
On Saturday morning local time, police were called to a trailer park in the city of Gonzales, 25 miles (40km) south of Baton Rouge, for a “domestic incident”, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said.
When they arrived, they found two people – Elizabeth and Keith Theriot, both 51 years old – who had been shot but were still alive.
They told the officers that their son, who had recently been told to leave their house and not return, was the shooter. The couple were taken to a hospital but later died.
“This is probably one of the worst domestic violence incidents I’ve seen in quite a while,” Sheriff Webre said.
“My family met him last weekend at a birthday party and didn’t get good vibes from him,” Crystal DeYoung, Billy Ernest’s sister, told the Associated Press news agency.
She said Summer and Tanner were two of Billy’s three children.
In a Facebook page that appeared to belong to him, there was a repost made in June saying “wish i could clear my mind jus for one day” (sic) with a sad emoji.
In May, he reposted a message which said “If you have a problem with me, tell me. Not everyone else.”
Authorities said they still do not have a motive. Theriot had been arrested once for minor drug possession, but he did not have previous encounters with police that would have hinted any violence.
He had been living with his girlfriend and her parents in the Livingston Parish home for the past couple of weeks.
Theriot is facing five counts of first-degree murder, among other charges.