A traffic stop in Vermilion Parish turned into a deadly daylong standoff Tuesday when a federal fugitive fled from deputies and eventually took his own life.
A Vermilion Parish Sheriff deputy initiated a traffic stop about 9 a.m. Tuesday on Louisiana Highway 700 at the intersection of Shelly Road because a motorcycle driver was not wearing a helmet, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.
The motorist did not produce proper identification and subsequently gave false information about who he was. After a second deputy arrived on the scene to assist, the motorist slowly retrieved a handgun from a saddlebag, but never threatened deputies with it. Deputies drew their firearms for protection and ordered the subject to comply, according to the VPSO statement.
The subject fled on foot into a tall grassy field off Shelly Road. A perimeter was set up to contain the situation while the VPSO Special Response Team was called out for response deployment.
Through further investigation, the man was identified as 43-year-old Kelly Vaughn of Wyoming. Vaughn was wanted by the U. S. Marshal’s Office on an arrest warrant issued by the United States District Court of Montana and was considered armed and dangerous. The offense was listed as possession of a weapon with a no-bail warrant.
The VPSO and Louisiana State Police used aerial drones to locate Vaughn hiding in the field. The drones kept watch on his location while crisis negotiators communicated with Vaughn in an attempt to get him to surrender peacefully. During negotiations, Vaughn fired shots at the drones and made several statements threatening suicide, saying he was not going back to jail.
At 4:24 p.m., Vaughn shot himself in the head with the handgun, according to the VPSO statement. The response team secured the scene for Acadian Ambulance medics to attempt to render aid, but Vaughan was dead at the scene.