Mayor calls for patience

Emotions run high as investigation proceeds in officer-involved shooting

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter and Police Chief Shawn Caldwell said Friday they want State Police to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the Jan. 11 officer-involved shooting of 26-year-old Juston Joseph Landry. Neither commented on the investigation.

An initial complaint released Thursday by State Police said at about 1 a.m., Landry entered the RaceWay convenience store at 1213 N. Martin Luther King Highway, pulled out a gun and made threats toward the clerk. Landry then left the store and was encountered by a Lake Charles Police officer.

Landry “presented a handgun and refused to comply with commands,” according to the complaint. After a short foot pursuit, there was an encounter that resulted in the officer shooting Landry multiple times. Landry was later pronounced dead at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Since the shooting, several officials and organizations have asked for crucial information to be released, including the name of the officer involved, along with dash and body cam footage. Hunter asked for their patience.

“We understand that there’s a lot of emotions involved in this,” he said. “Quality investigations that are transparent and thorough … are not always immediate.”

Hunter called the shooting a tragedy and said all information was turned over immediately to State Police to ensure a complete investigation.

“We continue to keep the family of Mr. Landry in our prayers, the officer involved and the entire community,” he said.

Caldwell said turning over the investigation to State Police is an example of the department’s “commitment to accountability.”

“We realize the gravity of this, and that is why we asked for an independent investigation by Louisiana State Police,” he said. “It’s a deliberate, methodical, detailed process that requires time, and we owe this to Mr. Landry, his family, the officers involved and the community.”

Hunter said he and Caldwell met with leaders in the community immediately after the shooting.

“We believe that Lake Charles is a community that can get through some of these issues,” he said. “We call upon this community to stay together at this time and await the outcome of the investigation.”

Aside from the initial complaint, State Police is withholding any other information in the case because the investigation is ongoing.””

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter and Lake Charles Police Chief Shawn Caldwell said Friday that they want Louisiana State Police to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the Jan. 11 officer-involved shooting of 26-year-old Juston Joseph Landry.

John GuidrozCalcasieu Parish Government and Cameron Parish Reporter
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