Sheriff: Escapee shot after firing at officers

Published 9:19 pm Thursday, September 23, 2021

The hunt for 20-year-old Desmond Louis ended Thursday when he was shot by officers.

A news source reported that Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Louis came out from an 11th street residence in Lake Charles, shooting. Officers returned fire and Louis was hit. Louisiana State Police confirmed to another media outlet that Louis died of his injuries.

Mancuso and Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Hereford held a news conference in Ragley at Pius X Catholic Church detailing the manhunt only two hours earlier. The day before the Southwest Louisiana Transitional Work Program inmate had walked off his job at a Lake Charles restaurant.

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During the 2:30 p.m. conference, it was announced for the first time that Louis had fired at a Calcasieu Parish sheriff’s deputy after the vehicle in which he had been fleeing was pulled over on U.S.. 171 near Cobb Circle in Moss Bluff. Fire was returned. In the minutes it took to make sure officers were uninjured, the vehicle sped away north on U.S. 171, at times traveling as fast as 130 mph. When the vehicle was pulled over a second time, and the driver and two passengers in the car were arrested, it was determined that Louis had exited it somewhere between S. Perkins Ferry Road and Gaytine Road off U.S. 171.

“This man should be considered armed and dangerous,” Mancuso said at the news conference. He has broken out, shooting. He shot at a police officer last night so we know he’s willing to hurt and kill somebody, so if we get word that he’s at your residence, we’re not just going to knock on the door and ask nicely for him to come out. It’s going to be a tense situation for the officers involved. We know he will shoot. If you know where he is, if you know where he is and do not tell us he is there and help us take him captive, you’re going to be arrested just like these others who tried to help him last night.”

Three others inside the 11th Street home at the time of the shooting were taken into custody.

When the car in which Louis was a passenger was pulled over the day before, two passengers were arrested: Keasia Wilfred, 19, and Dannirriah Louis, 19, both of Lake Charles. Wilfred and Louis were booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail and transported to Calcasieu Correctional Center. They are both charged with two counts of principal to attempted first-degree murder; and accessory after the fact to simple escape. Bonds are pending. The driver was a 16-year-old juvenile.

“It’s been a long 15 hours to this point, Hereford said during the news conference. “Multiple times since this began, we’ve had calls regarding suspicious circumstances called in. If you think that there is anything at all that you need to check at your place, please call us. We do not mind coming and checking. It’s safer for us to do that. This subject is dangerous. If you do see him, we do not want you to try to approach him. Just call us.”

Louis was convicted of illegal use of a dangerous weapon January 2020. He was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, obstruction of justice and illegal carrying of a weapon in April 2020.

“I would like to add that the Department of Corrections generally does a great job of screening their work release inmates,” Hereford said. “It is fairly rare for us to have any problems with the work release inmates because the system is set up to benefit them, society and law enforcement officers.”