Posted: Oct 12, 2010 8:48 PM by Alison Haynes
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Authorities say a Louisiana man fatally shot by a Miller County, Ark., sheriff's deputy was active in trying to keep people off property he believed was his, and often appeared with a pistol on each hip.
Miller County officials say the deputy sheriff, so far not named, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the fatal shooting Sunday of John Morneau, 71, of Ida, La., at his home near the Arkansas state line.
Arkansas State Police are looking into the shooting, which occurred about 4 p.m. near Doddridge just off U.S. 71. State Police spokesman Bill Sadler told the Texarkana Gazette the deputy and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers were trying serve warrants on Morneau on private property inside the Arkansas state line next to his Louisiana home.
Sadler said that when the officers identified themselves, Morneau drew two guns on them and the deputy shot him when he refused to drop the weapons.
State Police will turn over their findings to Miller County prosecutors.
Shreveport, La., television station KTBS said Morneau was well-known to authorities in Caddo Parish, La., because he had often complained about people he believed were trespassing on his property. The station reported that the Arkansas officers were trying to arrest Morneau, a lawyer, on warrants accusing him of threatening other people with guns.
Morneau, whose office was in Vivian, La., had worn a revolver on each hip for several years and was a staunch defender of the Constitution's Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.
Morneau had been involved in a dispute over where his property line ended and had been the subject of complaints that he had threatened people who were on what he believed was his land. He had an old railroad map and believed his property line extended a few dozen feet north of where authorities concluded it stopped, said Caddo Parish authorities, who had investigated complaints from Morneau.
"He was upset because people were trespassing and he wanted it straightened out," Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator said. "He wanted some surveys done. We told him we were not going to do the surveys; someone else would have to be responsible for that."