Gabriel Nicole Francis

Gabriel Nicole Francis

The suspected Walmart shoplifter accused of resisting arrest and causing an ensuing scuffle during which an East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy's gun went off has been taken into custody in Indianapolis, officials announced Wednesday morning.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said only that Gabriel Nicole Francis, 31, was in custody and that additional details would be forthcoming.

Francis had evaded authorities since the shooting Monday at the Walmart near Baton Rouge's Cortana Mall.

The scuffle occurred after Francis was accused of trying to steal something from the store and a deputy confronted him along with a loss prevention employee. The two began to scuffle with the suspect and caused the deputy's gun to fire, Hicks said.

No one was injured, but the gunfire led to calls for the public to avoid the area around the mall Monday afternoon.

The sheriff's office identified the suspect as Gabriel Nicole Francis, 31, of 6061 Plank Road in Baton Rouge.

Responding authorities were unable to find Francis, who had fled on foot and possibly got into a vehicle, Hicks said.

A preliminary investigation indicated Francis had tried to disarm the deputy during the attempted arrest, she said. Francis was on top of the deputy when the shot was fired.

He's accused of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, resisting an officer, disarming a police officer, battery of an officer and theft and possessing a gun as a felon.

Hicks said Tuesday that video footage of the incident won't be released to the media at this time because it's part of an ongoing criminal investigation.


Compiled from staff reports. To contact a crime reporter at The Advocate, email policereporters@theadvocate.com or call (225) 388-0369.