Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory issued a statement Saturday evening on the shooting of a Lafayette man by police officers.
"An armed individual was shot and killed by Lafayette police officers after an extended pursuit, numerous efforts to de-escalate the situation, and multiple tries to subdue the knife-wielding suspect through the use of tasers," Guillory said.
"The officers opened fire when it became apparent the armed individual was attempting to enter a convenience store, threatening the lives of the customers and workers inside.
"The Louisiana State Police is conducting an independent investigation into the incident. Investigators will receive the full cooperation of the Lafayette Police Department and Lafayette Consolidated Government.
"While the incident has drawn significant media attention and protests, our personnel won’t be distracted – they remain focused on ensuring the health and safety of our people."
A crowd gathered Saturday night along Evangeline Thruway, where 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin was shot and killed by Lafayette Police a day ea…
Trayford Pellerin, 31, was shot and killed Friday night at a Shell gas station on Evangeline Thruway.
The shooting was captured on bystander video shared widely on social media. It shows at least five Lafayette Police officers approaching a Black man with what witnesses said was a knife in his hand walking away from police toward a convenience store. Video then shows officers open fire near the entrance of the convenience store and at least 10 shots can be heard.
The man is then seen lying on the ground.
Louisiana State Police Trooper Derek Senegal said Pellerin was transported to an area hospital after the shooting, but he was not able to say at which point Pellerin died.
The police officers encountered Pellerin when they responded to a disturbance call involving a person armed with a knife at a convenience store along NE Evangeline Thruway and Castille Avenue around 8 p.m., State Police said. Officers attempted to apprehend Pellerin but he fled on foot and officers pursued him for about a half mile down Evangeline Thruway.
Officers tased Pellerin, but he continued walking to a Shell gas station convenience store at NW Frontage Road and Chalmette Drive where he attempted to enter the convenience store while still armed with the knife, state police said. Officers then fired their weapons multiple times, fatally striking Pellerin.
It was not clear how many officers discharged their weapons during the shooting, but interim police chief Scott Morgan said LPD turned the entire investigation over to state police. Morgan said the involved officers would be placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
A rally to Pellerin turned into a march Saturday night with hundreds of protesters blocking traffic on Evangeline Thruway near the site of the shooting.