Louisiana State Police, who are continuing to look into a shootout involving two East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies early Saturday morning, will now routinely be asked to investigate such cases under a new Sheriff’s Office policy.
Two sheriff’s deputies returned fire after at least one man, 23-year-old Raheem Taylor, shot several rounds with a handgun during a dispute with another man in the parking lot of Club MVP, according to a State Police report.
The Sheriff’s Office, which in the past has generally investigated deputy-involved shootings internally, asked State Police to investigate the shooting as part of a broader policy change, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
All deputy-involved shootings that result in an injury will now be investigated by State Police and the 19th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Hicks said.
The latest incident began about 2 a.m. Saturday when Donald Jones, 33, got into an argument with Taylor and four others in the parking lot of Club MVP, at 8537 Greenwell Springs Road.
Jones pulled a shotgun from his truck and “worked the action” while walking toward Taylor and the others, the document says.
At that point, Taylor allegedly retrieved a 9mm pistol and opened fire toward Jones — as well as toward the two sheriff’s deputies who were standing nearby and returned fire, the document says.
A State Police document indicates a private security guard, who was also standing near Jones, fired his handgun during the incident because he “feared for his life.”
The document does not say whether Jones fired the shotgun during the incident.
Taylor and Jones were wounded in the shooting, said Trooper First Class Bryan Lee, a State Police spokesman.
Lee declined on Sunday to further address the role of Jones or the private security guard.
“That’s still under investigation,” said Lee, adding that investigators were still examining the scene and awaiting the results of ballistics and other tests. “We’re trying to determine who fired what.”
The two deputies involved in the shooting, neither of whom have been publicly identified, will remain on paid leave until State Police conclude the investigation, Hicks said, which is standard procedure in cases of deputy-involved shootings.
Hicks said the names of the officers will be released Monday.
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux previously asked State Police detectives to investigate the fatal shooting of 48-year-old Travis Stevenson by deputies in Old South Baton Rouge on Feb. 23.
In that instance, though, Gautreaux said the investigation was turned over to State Police because two Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives, whose division typically handled such cases, were themselves involved in the incident.
Under the revised policy, Sheriff’s Office detectives will no longer investigate shootings involving fellow deputies.
Gautreaux changed the policy in hopes that bringing in an independent outside agency to review such cases would promote transparency within the department, Hicks said.
Taylor and Jones, the two men wounded in the Saturday morning shooting, were treated at the hospital before being booked into Parish Prison.
Taylor, of 1725 W. Oakridge Drive in Albany, Georgia, was booked on a count of attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Jones, 33, of 2227 General Mouton Ave., was booked on five counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Both men remained in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Sunday evening. Bail for Taylor is set at $80,000 and bail for Jones is $22,500.
Follow Bryn Stole on Twitter, @BrynStole.