LAPLACE (AP) — An overflow crowd of relatives, friends and law enforcement officers gathered at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church for a Mass in honor of one of two St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff’s deputies killed last week.
Deputy Jeremy Triche, 27, of LaPlace, and Deputy Brandon Nielsen, 34, of Destrehan, who will be buried Wednesday, were killed while investigating the shooting of another deputy.
Michael Scott Boyington, a drug investigator for the sheriff’s office, was wounded during an off-duty security job early Thursday at a remote parking lot for the Valero refinery. A fourth deputy, Jason Triche, was wounded in the shoot-out at the Scenic Riverview Trailer Park in LaPlace.
Motives behind the shootings and exactly how they unfolded have not been released.
“We’re pretty confident we know most of how it happened,” said state police Sgt. Len Marie. However, he said, details are not being released because “we don’t want it tried in the press” and because ballistics tests are incomplete. “Our first priority is getting the murder investigation wrapped up and charging suspects accordingly — the ones who were the shooters,” he said.
Seven people have been arrested and six of them are now in jail. Kyle David Joekel, 28, remained hospitalized but Brian Lyn Smith, 24, was released from a hospital Friday and booked into jail on one count of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, according to the sheriff’s office website.
Brian Smith is the only person accused so far of shooting a deputy.
District Attorney Tom Daley said he didn’t know Smith’s bond but “one or more had a million dollar bond.” Officials from the parish clerk of court’s office did not answer telephone and email queries about bonds.
Smith’s father, Terry Lyn Smith, 44, and brother, Derrick D. Smith, 22 — as well as Teniecha Teniel Bright, 21, who lived with Joekel — have been booked with principal to attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, the charge that authorities say will be brought against Joekel after his release.
Terry Smith’s wife, Chanel Melissa Skains, 37, and Brian Smith’s girlfriend, Britney Keith, 23, were booked as accessories to attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.
All seven will be represented by the indigent defender’s office, Daley said.
The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/TQ6bCG ) several people, including patients at the Twin Oaks Nursing Home, came out Monday to watch the procession of uniformed officers file pass en route to the church.
“We just want to show our support and offer our deepest sympathies to the Triche family,” said Monica Ingram, a nursing home employee. “Our hearts are so sad. Even though we’re not blood, we’re all related by community.”
Kat Powell, another employee, said she knew Triche’s grandparents, as well as two other St. John deputies who died in the line of duty.
“I’ve been sad since Thursday,” she said. “It’s just a terrible tragedy.”
Michael Rollo, owner of Rollo Security, placed dozens of U.S. flags in the ground on the corner of Hemlock Street in LaPlace. He also had his security personnel lined up on the corner.
“We’re all part of the law-enforcement community. These are the heroes, not the movie stars, not the athletes with their million-dollar contracts,” Rollo said. “These are the true heroes.”
Triche is survived by his wife, Misty McTopy Triche and a 2-year-old son, Kade Michael Triche.