Gunshots in the parking lot of an ExxonMobil chemical plant north of Baton Rouge caused a brief scare Friday morning before the suspected shooter was arrested by authorities.
No one was injured when the shots were fired by 28-year-old Telvin Henyard, State Police said, and investigators do not believe the polyolefins plant was targeted in the incident.
“We don’t believe Exxon was targeted by any means,” said Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer, a State Police spokesman. “We believe it was a random, isolated incident.”
The ordeal began at about 10:15 a.m. Friday when a Department of Public Safety officer saw a car being driven erratically on Scenic Highway just north of the chemical plant. When the vehicle stopped, a passenger stepped out of it and fired several shots into the air with a handgun, Sandifer said.
The shooter, identified by police as Henyard, then ran south on Scenic Highway toward the plant, attempting to carjack at least one vehicle along the way, Sandifer said.
Henyard, of Woodville, Mississippi, eventually made it to the plant’s main gates at 12875 Scenic Highway. After passing through the gates, he allegedly fired some more shots into the air before entering the foyer of a building on the plant grounds. Sandifer said the man could not get further into the building because of security measures in place at the plant.
“The security measures at the plant worked as planned,” Stephanie Cargile, an ExxonMobil spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The suspect was not able to gain access to secure areas, and there were no injuries.”
Henyard eventually exited the building on his own accord. He was taken into custody in the plant’s parking lot by authorities, Sandifer said, and later taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Center at Mid City for an evaluation.
“We do not believe the suspect was connected to ExxonMobil in any way,” Cargile said.
Upon his release from the hospital, Henyard was scheduled to be booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of illegal use of a weapon, attempted carjacking, aggravated assault, resisting an officer and disturbing the peace by appearing in public in an intoxicated condition, Sandifer said.
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