Person who died in officer-involved shooting on Cline Street identified
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Police Department has asked Louisiana State Police to investigate a fatal officer-involved shooting involving a Lake Charles police officer on Cline Street, according to Louisiana State Police Troop D.
Lake Charles police made the request Tuesday, Dec. 28, according to state police.
The preliminary investigation revealed shortly after 9:45 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 27, Lake Charles police officers responded to a report of a subject with a handgun in the 1000 block of Mill Street in Lake Charles, according to Troop D Spokesman Derek Senegal.
Upon arrival, officers learned Christopher Thomas, 22, of Lake Charles fired allegedly several shots towards a residence then fled on foot, according to Senegal.
Senegal said later that night, Thomas returned to the same residence and allegedly fired multiple shots, striking one of the occupants in the foot.
Officers located Thomas at another residence in the 2000 block of Cline Street shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, according to Senegal.
A video on social media captures the scene moments before and after it turned deadly. An officer-involved shooting left Thomas dead, according to state police.
“He was my baby,” Tonya Thomas said. “My child.”
Senegal said LCPD gave verbal commands for Thomas to surrender.
Thomas fired multiple shots at LCPD officers from inside the residence, according to Senegal.
During negotiations, Thomas exited the residence through the front door armed with a handgun and wearing body armor, according to Senegal.
Senegal said officers attempted to negotiate face-to-face with Thomas before he retreated back into the residence.
Thomas then fired at officers while standing in the front doorway, according to Senegal.
Officers discharged their duty weapons striking Thomas, Senegal said.
“It just went on for a couple of hours between them, arriving at that location, trying to negotiate with that subject to come out of the house and just give up and surrender,” Senegal said. “Then, like I said, just the end result that someone was shot.”
Thomas was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, and no one else was injured, according to Senegal.
Thomas’ family said he struggled with a mental disability and in their words wasn’t a saint; however, they believe this was an unnecessary tragedy.
“His disability, his mental health, his psychosis moments, then every time you hear his name and you have to come and tend to him and get him to the hospital, then why not be prepared,” Tasha Labbe, Thomas’ aunt, said. “What was so different this time? Why did he have to die today?”
“And as he’s backing up, I see him step on the steps, and then, I hear just rapid gunfire,” Labbe said.
Thomas’ aunt described him as wearing a bulletproof vest minutes before gunshots were fired. State police said the exchange of gunfire happened after negotiations between Thomas and LCPD failed.
“She didn’t get a chance to say bye,” Labbe said. “We still haven’t seen him. We still haven’t seen him.”
According to investigators, one individual was reported dead at the scene on Cline Street near Albert Street. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Forensic Investigation Unit responded to the scene and is assisting with the investigation, according to Senegal.
Authorities say that it is still an active investigation.
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