Four Baton Rouge police officers accused of shooting and killing an armed man after a chase that ended in West Baton Rouge Parish will return to work Tuesday, a police spokesman said Monday.
A preliminary internal investigation into the Aug. 5 shooting did not find any wrongdoing on behalf of the officers, Sgt. Don Stone said. However, the investigation is ongoing and Louisiana State Police also is looking into the incident, he said.
Police Chief Dewayne White said the shooting was recorded by at least one video camera on the dashboard of one of the police units.
“After viewing the video of the incident, I find insufficient cause to keep these officers on administrative leave,” White said. “I think they handled themselves in a manner that the situation dictated.”
Officers Paul Brown, 27; Richard McCloskey, 29; Nicholas Morgan, 31; and Joshua Ellis, 36, were placed on administrative leave shortly after the shooting occurred, Stone said.
The man shot was Darryl Douglas Parault, 48, of Jarreau, State Police spokesman Trooper Russell Graham has said.
The incident between Parault and police started about 11:15 p.m. Aug. 5 when a police officer in a marked police car tried to pull over Parault for a traffic violation on Airline Highway near Florida Boulevard, Stone has said.
Parault refused to stop and led police over the U.S. 190 Mississippi Bridge into West Baton Rouge Parish. Three more officers in police cars joined the chase, Stone has said.
The pursuit, which never reached high speed, continued on U.S. 190 until a mile past the intersection with La. 415. Parault pulled over on the right shoulder, Stone has said.
As Parault got out of his small pickup as ordered, the “officers observed a gun in his hand” and police ordered him to drop the gun. When he refused to comply, the “officers shot him,” Stone has said. Parault died at the scene.
West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office Col. Richie Johnson said his office was contacted about the pursuit and deputies were present when the shooting happened. None of the deputies fired their weapons. Johnson said his office is assisting State Police with its investigation.
State Police Lt. Doug Cain said he could not release any details about the shooting, but added that “every indication is that the officers were well within the scope of the law with their actions.”
Cain said when his agency’s investigation its complete, it will be forwarded to the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office for review.
Parault’s family declined comment. David Jarreau, however, described his childhood friend as a socially withdrawn person who liked model trains, model cars and guns.
Jarreau said Parault had never been married, didn’t have any children and had worked at the Port Allen McDonald’s for the past 12 years.
As to what might have happened the night Parault was killed, Jarreau said he had no idea. “I hadn’t talked to him in years,” Jarreau said.
Court records show Parault does not have a criminal background in East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge or Pointe Coupee parishes.
Only one of the four police officers involved in Parault’s shooting has ever been disciplined while on the job, police records show.
Officer Morgan was issued a letter of reprimand in February 2007 for his involvement in a preventable crash that happened two years earlier on Choctaw Drive, the letter says.
The letter did not provide additional details about the incident.