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The Budget 7 Motel, seen Friday, July 26, 2019 on Highway 190 West, where La. State Police are investigating the Thursday night officer-involved fatal shooting by a West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy who discharged his weapon while executing a search warrant at a motel room, said State Police spokesman Taylor Scrantz. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office. Family members confirmed he was 38-year-old Josef Richardson, a father and Port Allen resident, but local and state officials haven't confirmed his identity.

Deputies from the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office were searching for drugs inside a motel room where a Port Allen man was fatally shot last week, according to a search warrant released Wednesday.

The warrant cites a confidential informant who told detectives about buying methamphetamines in Room 5 at the Budget 7 Motel on U.S. 190 about 3 miles north of Port Allen.

While executing the "no-knock" warrant, a deputy fatally shot Josef Richardson, 38. Richardson suffered a fatal bullet wound to the back of the neck and died at the scene, according to an autopsy.

Deputies arrested Richardson's girlfriend, 39-year-old Jessica Clouatre, on suspicion of selling marijuana and methamphetamine.

Her attorney, Stephen Smith, told The Advocate on Wednesday that she was in the room during the shooting, but she could not comment about what happened because of the charges against her. 

She was free Wednesday after posting a $41,000 bond.

The Louisiana State Police has been investigating the shooting but hasn't said why the deputy fired. It's prompted numerous questions and calls for the release of information by Richardson's family and community members.


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Investigators asked a judge to allow deputies to immediately enter the motel room without announcing themselves, a law enforcement device known as a no-knock warrant. Detectives wrote that drugs can easily be concealed, making it necessary to storm the room without warning.

District Judge Tonya S. Lurry signed the warrant the day of the raid.

Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com.