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Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 2:58PM

Suspect in Louisiana shooting deaths caught in Virginia

By The Associated Press

WARSAW, Va. (AP) — A man suspected of killing his parents and three other people - including a girl he was dating - was arrested Sunday when he showed up at his grandmother's house in Virginia, a sheriff there said.

On Saturday, Dakota Theriot, 21, shot and killed three people — the woman believed to be his girlfriend, her brother and father — in Louisiana's Livingston Parish before taking her father's truck, driving to neighboring Ascension Parish, and shooting his parents, authorities said.

Theriot's grandmother, who lives in Warsaw, Virginia, had checked into a hotel Saturday night because she feared he might show up at her house, Richmond County Sheriff Stephan B. Smith said in a phone interview. The woman asked authorities to check her home Sunday morning to make sure it was safe before she returned.

While deputies were there, Smith said, Theriot drove up. He had a gun on him but he dropped it and was taken into custody without incident, Smith said.

Theriot will be brought back to Ascension Parish to be booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion, and illegal use of weapons, according to a statement by Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre and Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard.

Smith said he believes the truck Theriot was driving when he arrived at his grandmother's house was the one taken in Louisiana.

Authorities have identified the victims in Livingston Parish as Billy Ernest, 43; Tanner Ernest, 17; and Summer Ernest, 20. Ard said Summer Ernest and Dakota Theriot were in a relationship and that Theriot had been living with her family for a few weeks.

Authorities earlier identified the other two victims as Theriot's parents — Keith, 50, and Elizabeth Theriot, 50, of Gonzales.

They were shot in their trailer on Saturday morning.

"The father was gravely injured at the time we found him and has since passed away," Webre said late Saturday. But before he died, Webre said authorities were able to get a "dying declaration from him, and only enough information to let us know that it was his son that committed this act."

Crystal DeYoung, Billy Ernest's sister, told The Associated Press that she believes Theriot had just started dating her niece, Summer Ernest.

"My family met him last weekend at a birthday party and didn't get good vibes from him," DeYoung said. She said she wasn't sure how her niece and Theriot met, but that she believed the relationship was relatively new.

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