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Baton Rouge Walmart shooting suspect believed to be in Lafayette area

Gabriel Nicole Francis.jpg
Gabriel Francis on surveillance (BR walmart shooting).jpg
Posted at 8:27 AM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 09:46:14-04

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office says that the suspect involved in a Monday afternoon shooting at the Cortana Walmart is believed to be in the Lafayette area.

Deputies say 31-year-old Gabriel Nicole Francis is wanted after he allegedly assaulted and attempted to disarm a deputy, ultimately discharging the weapon outside the store entrance.

According to the department, Francis entered the Cortana Walmart on June 15 and was allegedly observed on camera switching tags from various items.

Detectives say Francis then allegedly attempted to exit the store without paying for the items.

An East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputy working security detail was notified by store Loss Prevention Staff and attempted to stop Francis from exiting the store.

Deputies say that Francis allegedly got into a physical altercation with the deputy and attempted to remove the deputy's holstered handgun.

In the process, the sheriff's office says the handgun discharged while in the holster.

At the time, staff were also trying to assist the deputy in gaining control of Francis.

The sheriff's office says that Francis fled the scene on foot and dropped his wallet while fleeing.

Detectives say Francis is originally from Lafayette and is believed to be in the area.

Francis is wanted for Attempted First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Resisting an Officer, Disarming a Police Officer, Theft of Goods, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Battery of a Police Officer.

Anyone with information is asked to call the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office at 225-389-5000 or their local law enforcement.

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