Authorities arrested two would-be bounty hunters Tuesday morning in the shooting of a woman during a search for a fugitive.
Four men were outside the home at 9367 Ridgewood Drive at 4:45 a.m. to apprehend a fugitive, according to an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office news release.
Two men were at the front of the home and two were at the back, the release said.
The two men in the back of the home opened a cracked window to get inside and pointed a weapon inside, the news release said.
One man told authorities a woman came to the window and grabbed the gun, causing it to fire, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.
The woman, who was not identified, was struck but is expected to recover, the news release said.
The man who reportedly opened the window, Anthony Thomas, 24, 8948 Corlette Drive, was booked into Parish Prison on one count of unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling.
The shooting suspect, Demarcus J. McKnight, 31, of 13413 Felton Clark Drive, was booked into Parish Prison on counts of illegal use of a weapon; aggravated battery and unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling.
Hicks said it’s unclear whether the men were at the home to apprehend the woman or another occupant and the shooting is still under investigation.
Bounty hunters are licensed through the Louisiana Department of Insurance, but Hicks said only one man, who was at the front of the house and not arrested, was a licensed bounty hunter.
The licensed bounty hunter told investigators he supervised the other men, but the man’s employer said the bail bonds agency was not aware the three unlicensed men were participating in the apprehension, Hicks said.
Hicks did not release the name of the company where the licensed bounty hunter worked. She also did not identify the bounty hunter, the third would-be bounty hunter or the fugitive.
State Insurance Commissioner James Donelon was unsure late Tuesday whether the department had started a criminal investigation into the incident.
Donelon said any agency that employs unlicensed bounty hunters is in jeopardy of having its license revoked.
Bounty hunters are required to undergo eight hours of training to receive a license.
Donelon said there are no regulations for how bounty hunters are allowed to use weapons during an apprehension.
Licensed bounty hunters are allowed to enter residences without permission to apprehend people who have failed to show for a court appearance, Donelon said.
“It’s a controversial activity that goes back more than 100 years,” Donelon said. “They do not have arrest authority, but they have authority as bail bond agents to apprehend those they have posted bonded for.”