An officer involved shooting is under investigation in Rapides Parish.
At 6:50 pm Wednesday, September 2, Sheriff's Dispatch received a call in reference to a person stating he wanted to kill himself, stated Tommy Carnline, spokesperson for the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office. Deputies responded to Duke Road in the Melder Community where they spoke with family members that stated George Juan Burns, 49 of Melder, was in the residence in a back bedroom. When deputies went to speak with Burns, he exited the bedroom and pointed a handgun at them, according to Carnline. One of the deputies drew his weapon and fired one round at the suspect and retreated to the front of the residence where the other family members were safely evacuated. Deputies secured the perimeter and began speaking with the suspect, but he allegedly refused to come out and give himself up.
Negotiators and SWAT were activated and responded to the scene.
After other units arrived on scene, Burns began firing rounds indiscriminately at deputies, the spokesperson stated. As negotiations went on for almost three hours, the suspect began shooting at deputies again, hitting a U.S. Marshals Service-Violent Offender Task Force vehicle that was on scene. As the suspect continued to shoot at law enforcement, the SWAT Precision Marksman shot the suspect, according to Carnline. The SWAT Team then made entry into the residence where the suspect was found breathing and semi-conscious. A USMS-VOFT medic rendered aid until Acadian Ambulance arrived. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he remains in stable but critical condition. The struck vehicle sustained damage, but no other injuries were reported.
The investigation is being conducted by the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office. Investigators say charges are pending.
Both deputies involved in the shooting will remain on administrative leave as is customary in an Officer Involved Shooting, Carnline stated.
The RPSO thanks the USMS-VOTF and the Alexandria Police Department Special Response Team for their assistance with manpower and equipment.
"I want to personally thank everyone for their assistance in this operation" said Sheriff Mark Wood. "Working together to have a peaceful resolution of situations like this is the goal of all our agencies."
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