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UPDATE: Suspect in OPD unit theft, who died in Texas shooting, identified

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Posted at 11:23 AM, May 06, 2020

UPDATE: Port Arthur Police have identified the man who allegedly stole an Opelousas police unit and was shot in Texas when he allegedly tried to steal another car.

The unmarked unit was stolen from a hotel on Tuesday and was recovered Wednesday in Port Arthur, Texas after the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Leon Jones III of Opelousas, was shot while allegedly trying to steal another vehicle.
using the officer's rifle.

Opelousas Police tell KATC that during an undercover narcotics operation at a Motel 6 in Opelousas a man came out of a nearby room and stole the vehicle, which was left running when the officer arrived on scene. The unit contained the officer's street rifle, an AR15, as well as his body armor, badge, and other equipment.

Local and state law enforcement were notified, and the police unit was spotted about 20 minutes later on I-10 near Rayne. That evening, Port Arthur Police called to tell Opelousas officers that the vehicle had been recovered after a shooting.

Port Arthur Police initially responded to an armed robbery at the Island Grocery on Pleasure Island. While en route, officers were advised that the suspect had fled the scene in a vehicle. At the store, a male and female victim told police that the suspect had tried to take their vehicle at gunpoint.

Officers then received a call of a shooting a few miles away, and arrived to find a man shot to death in the road. Victims told police that they were crabbing when the man threatened them with a rifle. The male intended victim was able to get to his car and retrieve his handgun. He exchanged gunfire with the would-be robber, and the suspect was shot multiple times. Police say Jones died at the scene.

The female intended victim was treated for minor injuries at the scene, police say.

This incident is currently under investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Port Arthur Police Department.

Opelousas Police tell us all the equipment from the police unit has been recovered except the AR-15, which is now part of the Port Arthur Police Department's investigation.