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Getting Answers: Trayford Pellerin

Posted at 6:17 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 19:20:56-04

We're taking an in-depth look into the Trayford Pellerin case and the decision by the grand jury to not indict the officers who shot Pellerin. There have been questions since August of last year when the shooting happened about why police shot to kill.

Reports from the investigation found the use of force was justified, so we wanted to get someone who's familiar with use of force to weigh in on the shooting. With more than 40 years of law enforcement experience, St. Landry sheriff Bobby Guidroz says officers are not trained to shoot to wound. "When we go through police training, in order to certify qualify, and to become a licensed commission law enforcement officer in any jurisdiction in this country, you have to pass a weapon firearms course," Guidroz said. "We're taught body mass, center body mass. We're not taught to shoot in arm or leg because the danger of that is that a bullet can ricochet and then we don't know where it's going after that. Some innocent people can get hurt."

Watching the video Guidroz says he noticed a K-9 officer, which led to the question if all possible resources were used before guns were fired. The K-9 officer not being used as a way to resolve the situation was addressed by District Attorney Don Landry in Tuesday's news conference.

"The dog is a police officer and highly trained to attack movement when his handler let's him go," Landry said. "The dog saw multiple potential targets during these few minutes and a K-9 officer could not let him go for a number of reasons. First Pellerin was still armed with a knife and if he deployed the dog it is likely the dog would be killed and still be dealing with an armed suspect. Second there was so many people in the immediate area including a number of officers within 40 feet of Pellerin that it was highly likely that the dog would've attacked an officer when released."

In response to the verdict and video, Pellerin's family attorney says Pellerin was in a constant state of retreat, only walking away from officers, and never posed a threat to them.

However, Guidroz says the threat doesn't have to be towards officers.

"He was a threat, not to the officers. His threat was to those people in that store," Guidroz said. "They were being threatened. That's where he was going. The officers had to do their job and that's to protect the public. "KATC reached out Lafayette Police, they're not commenting on the case at the moment. We also learned the officers involved in the shooting are still employed with the department and are administrative leave.