When a Louisiana State Police trooper shot a passenger who ran from a car that had made an illegal U-turn on Perkins Road, it was the second time that shift she fired a weapon.
New details emerged Wednesday about Trooper Kasha Domingue's interactions with motorists in southeastern Baton Rouge late Monday night and early Tuesday. One person she shot was hospitalized while one she shot at with her stun gun escaped unharmed. Drivers from both incidents were arrested on traffic-related and other charges. State Police have declined to confirm the identity of the trooper involved but said the officer is not on leave and will return to work Friday.
Domingue's Monday night traffic stop ended with her firing a stun gun at a passenger who was fleeing, but missing. Just hours later, behind the Village Grocery store, she shot and wounded a passenger who had bolted from the back seat of the maroon Saturn and almost immediately came upon the officer.
In the moments leading up to the shooting, Domingue pulled over a maroon Saturn about 3 a.m. after seeing the driver make an illegal U-turn, an arrest warrant for the driver says. The driver, Jamaal Kendall Mire Jr., 19, was initially compliant, but after giving the trooper his driver's license returned to the car and told everyone to run, according to Kalief Sconiers, a front-seat passenger who stayed put instead.
Sconiers said in an interview with The Advocate on Tuesday that Mire ran, as did another man sitting behind him. Sconiers said he told another passenger not to run, either, but he climbed out the rear passenger door in front of the officer, who fired a shot.
“(The trooper) was right there when he got out of the car. It seemed like he (avoided her) and tried to get away and then I heard ‘pow,'" said Sconiers, one of the four people in the Saturn stopped near the intersection of Perkins Road and Potwin Drive.
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The shooting victim was a friend, he said, while the other person in the back seat was someone they had met that night in Tigerland. Police have not released the identity of the man who was shot or the man unknown to Sconiers.
Mire's arrest report said the man, whose name was partially redacted, "ran toward Trooper Domingue, who discharged her departmental issued service weapon one time, striking (him)."
White spray paint behind the grocery store and strip mall outline key spots: where Domingue's police car stopped directly behind Mire's, along a fence that would have given the injured man very little room to escape the trooper. Shown a photo of the scene, Sconiers said two lines approximately six feet apart showed where the man lay after being shot. Small blood stains, no more than 4 inches around, soiled the pavement between them.
Sconiers said he waited in the car for about two minutes before he alerted the trooper that he was still there and asked her to come get him.
“I said it in the nicest tone because at this point I’m kind of scared because I heard a gunshot and I see my homie laid out,” Sconiers said. “Then she comes to me with her pistol in my face and she says get out of the … car. I’m like, 'Can you not put your weapon to my head and I’ll get out of the car?'”
He said he got on his knees outside the car so that Domingue could put him in handcuffs and escort him to her vehicle. Police noted in Mire’s arrest report that Sconiers cooperated with investigators.
The traffic stop early Tuesday that ended with a Louisiana State Police trooper shooting and injuring one of the vehicle's passengers started …
As they walked to the trooper’s vehicle, he asked if both she and his friend were okay. Sconiers said the trooper told him that she only used a stun gun on the friend, which Sconiers said he doubted because he heard a gunshot.
Sconiers saw his friend on his stomach on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back until medics removed them and transported him to a hospital. His status was not known Wednesday. Police have not described the injuries or the patient's condition. Lee said the trooper suffered minor injuries but did not say how she sustained them. Sconiers said the trooper scraped her knee.
After the incident, state police took Sconiers to the Louisiana State Police headquarters and put him in a holding cell overnight, he said.
Lee has declined to comment on whether any of the people in the vehicle were armed or if the incident was captured on video. The grocery store has two cameras near the parking lot.
Troopers searched Mire's vehicle and found about four grams of marijuana, according to the warrant. Mire, 8057 Sholar Drive, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for the alleged traffic violation and also resisting an officer and possession of marijuana.
In the earlier incident, Domingue had pulled over a vehicle without a license plate on Perkins Road near Oak Creek Drive, less than a mile west of Village St. George. Once the car had stopped and the driver stepped out to speak with Domingue, the passenger grabbed a backpack and ran away from the car, the report says.
Domingue wrote in an affidavit of probable cause that she chased that passenger and then fired her stun gun at him as he climbed a residential fence on Oak Creek Drive, but she missed, she reported. While she was concentrating on the fleeing passenger, the driver jumped back in the gray Nissan Altima and drove away.
Another trooper later located the car on Bluebonnet Boulevard and took the driver into custody, according to the affidavit. Alton Lee Thornton, 21, of 1793 Potwin Drive, was searched for weapons — none were found — and later arrested on counts of no license plate, flight from an officer and drug possession. Even though he lives near the location of the second incident, he was not involved in it.
Domingue graduated from the Louisiana State Police training academy in December 2015 and was initially placed with Troop I in Lafayette, according to media reports at the time.
The Advocate has pending public records requests for existing stun gun use reports for the first incident and Domingue’s entire personnel file.