PRIDE — Relatives of the 54-year-old Pride man shot and killed by at least one deputy were tight-lipped about the man on Christmas Day.
From a doorstep in Baton Rouge, a teary-eyed woman acknowledged knowing Gregory Sanders but said, “We’re not interested right now, but thank you.” Other attempts to reach Sanders’ family in person and over the phone were unsuccessful Friday.
A day earlier, three East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies along with EMS and fire officials responded at 1:47 p.m. to a call at 16486 Pride-Baywood Road, where Sanders pointed a weapon at authorities before being shot to death, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said.
“When (deputies) got here, (Sanders) walked out with a high-powered rifle. They repeatedly told him to put the rifle down. He didn’t, and when he leveled it on them, shots were fired and he was struck at least once, that we can tell. And he was deceased,” Gautreaux said.
It hasn’t been determined whether Sanders fired any shots, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks. Since deputies involved in shootings are typically allowed 24 hours before being interviewed, Hicks said, the three deputies in Thursday’s incident hadn’t been questioned as of Thursday evening. They’ve been put on administrative leave in accordance with department policy, she said.
“Apparently, he had been threatening bodily harm to himself (and) was tearing his house up,” Gautreaux said.
Sanders’ wife had left house earlier in day because of an altercation; another person may have been at the house at the time of shooting, said East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III, who arrived at the scene Thursday.
The house — set far from the road past a long lawn in the tiny, rural community — had been flagged by authorities because of unspecified prior incidents, said Moore. The flagging meant that when a 911 call was made for the house, deputies showed up to support EMS and Fire Department responders, he said.
Sanders didn’t appear to have a serious criminal history, said Moore, who added Sanders’ behavior or prior calls to the house may have caused the residence to be flagged.
Bedecked in Christmas flair, the steep-roofed house was quiet Friday. Next door, farm animals meandered inside a gate.
Sanders is the 27th person alleged to have been killed by law enforcement this year in Louisiana, according to data compiled by The Guardian, which claims to keep a definitive list of police shootings in the U.S. Louisiana has the 10th-highest rate of people killed by law enforcement per capita out of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, according to the database.
Hicks said the lawmen were not wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting.
The autopsy for Sanders is scheduled Monday, said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark.
“I just thank God none of my deputies got hurt,” Gautreaux said.
Follow Maya Lau on Twitter, @mayalau.