LIVINGSTON — The man who got in a gunfight with an off-duty Livingston Parish deputy Tuesday afternoon outside Denham Springs had three gunshot wounds but died after shooting himself, State Police said Friday.
Sidney Averett, 46, was involved in a shootout with Deputy David Johnson at the Country Club Lane home of Stephanie Ballard Averett, the deceased’s estranged wife and Johnson’s girlfriend, sources have said.
The deputy shot Sidney Averett twice in the extremities, but those injuries were not life-threatening, Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer said.
The Livingston Parish coroner determined Sidney Averett fired the fatal shot to his head, he continued.
Other than saying investigators had discussed the case with Sidney Averett’s family, State Police did not release more information on the case Friday but said the investigation remains active.
The Averetts had been separated for several months and were in the process of divorcing, according to court documents. They were scheduled to appear in court on the 9 a.m. docket Tuesday morning, though records of the proceeding were not available Friday.
Sidney Averett’s lawyer, Sherman Mack — who also represents Livingston Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives — said the court hearing on Tuesday was only to set a trial date.
“Everything was very cordial,” he said. “When (Sidney Averett) left court, he was fine.”
Law enforcement has obtained a copy of security footage from G&J Drive Inn on Florida Boulevard that appears to show four people in a conversation just an hour before the shootout occurred. The footage was viewed on Friday by The Advocate.
The restaurant’s security cameras do not record sound. Buford Richardson, who at the time of the video recording was sitting nearby in the dining room reading and waiting for his wife to get off work, said he overheard some of the brief interaction, although he did not know the people.
In a video time stamped 11:36 a.m. Tuesday, a man in a uniform, a woman and another man are sitting in a booth.
A fourth man enters the restaurant and eventually approaches the booth.
Richardson said he heard that man say he “can’t pay” and “won’t pay.”
The entire interaction lasts about a minute. Before the man left the restaurant, Richardson said he heard him say, “If you weren’t a cop, I’d beat your ... ass.”
Richardson said the three people finished their meals and left.
After State Police released the coroner’s findings Friday, Livingston Sheriff Jason Ard issued a statement of his own.
“It is not my policy to comment on an investigation by another law enforcement agency. As per protocol, the deputy has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the State Police investigation. My thoughts and prayers are with the Averett family,” he wrote.
When reached for comment earlier in the week, a family member of Sidney Averett declined to comment on the case.
“They’re very sad,” Mack said, adding that the family was seeking privacy. “He was a good guy.”