PORT ALLEN — A West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputy who was fatally gunned down by her neighbor, who also killed the deputy's 20-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself, could be getting a portion of a state highway named in her honor.
State Rep. Major Thibaut, D-New Roads, has prefiled a bill asking state legislators to designate the portion of La. 415 from Interstate 10 to La. 76 in Port Allen as the "Corporal Donna LeBlanc Memorial Highway" during the upcoming regular session, which convenes March 12.
West Baton Rouge Sheriff Mike Cazes in reaction to the news said it would be an "extreme honor" if the state Legislature honored LeBlanc in that way.
"I think it's a honor for them to recognize the first female who worked her way up through the sheriff's office from being a dispatcher," Cazes said. "She was the first road deputy I lost in my career as sheriff. So I'll be supporting this 100 percent."
GLYNN -- It remained a mystery Wednesday what sparked the argument leading to the fatal shootings of West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy …
Thibaut said he was contacted my Leblanc's husband and other family members asking if he would consider submitting the bill requesting state lawmakers to dedicate the part of La. 415 she regularly patrolled after the slain deputy.
LeBlanc was killed on Sept. 27, 2016, outside of her home in Pointe Coupee Parish when she became involved in an argument and shootout with a neighbor who authorities said was suffering from mental issues.
Gregory Phillips, who lived across the street, had past tension with Leblanc's family and on the afternoon of the killing he went over to LeBlanc's house for some unknown reason and knocked on the door to find Leblanc's older daughter, Carli LeBlanc, at home with her younger sister, who was 9 at the time.
Carli LeBlanc locked her sister inside the home while she spoke with Phillips on the front porch. Donna LeBlanc, who was off duty that day, pulled up moments later, getting into an argument with Phillips before he retreated to his truck and pulled out a .223 assault-type rifle, exchanging gunfire with the deputy.
After fatally shooting Donna LeBlanc, Phillips turned the gun on Carli LeBlanc, killing her before shooting himself after he couldn't gain entry into the home where Donna LeBlanc's 9-year-old daughter was hiding.
BRUSLY — The words family and rivalry get thrown around a lot.
Donna LeBlanc worked with the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office for 22 years, serving as a dispatcher and booking officer before becoming a road supervisor for the last 17 years of her life.
During her career, she received a lifesaving award from the Louisiana State Police for pulling a man out of a burning vehicle at the intersection of La. 415 and Rosedale Road.
Thibaut said LeBlanc is fondly remembered and well known by all the business owners and their employees along the stretch of La. 415 she routinely worked.
Thibaut expects his bill to glide through the state Legislature for approval this spring.
"We rename portions of state highways and bridges like this all the time," he said. "And I believe it's important we memorialize her in this way. She was an integral part of the community."