St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputy fatally shoots suspect after police chase _lowres

Joshua Douglas

Joshua Dale Douglas, the 24-year-old man fatally shot Saturday by a St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputy after a short chase, had a history of arrests, mainly for nonviolent crimes, court records show.

Douglas had a criminal history going back to September 2009, when he was booked on misdemeanor marijuana possession, simple battery and attempted simple burglary. He pleaded guilty on the simple battery count and was placed in a diversion program for the other two counts.

In 2010, he was arrested on a theft count and, in 2011, on possession of stolen property, theft, burglary, simple escape and being a minor in possession of alcohol. He pleaded guilty to each of those charges.

He hit a particularly rough patch during early 2013, when he was charged with 14 counts of simple burglary, two counts of theft over $1,500, domestic abuse battery and possession of stolen goods, all in a three-month period. He pleaded guilty to each of those as well and received several concurrent five-year sentences.

He was released on parole in October, according to the Louisiana Department of Corrections, and was slated to remain under supervision until March 2018.

Authorities are being tight-lipped about the investigation into Douglas’ death. Few details have been released.

He was driving a silver Infiniti sedan with a female passenger Saturday night when he became involved in a chase with St. Tammany Parish deputies.

The Sheriff’s Office said Douglas led deputies down Helenberg Road just north of Interstate 12 and east of U.S. 190, where he turned off into a subdivision. There, he crashed into a ditch at the corner of Bode and Barbara avenues.

A witness who did not want to be identified said deputies pulled a woman from the passenger side of the sedan before two deputies approached the car with their guns drawn. After what appeared to be some yelling, one deputy fired as many as three shots into the car, the witness said. The witness could not see Douglas.

The passenger was offered medical treatment and released. She has not been booked, according to State Police spokesman Sgt. Nick Manale. The State Police are leading the investigation into the shooting.

That inquiry remains in its early stages, Manale said Monday. Detectives are conducting interviews and analyzing evidence collected at the scene.

Multiple requests for information from the Sheriff’s Office — including the names of any deputies who fired their weapons at the scene — went unanswered Monday.

It was the third fatal shooting involving the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in the past seven months.

In September, a chase that began in Slidell and involved a suspect firing at deputies from his pickup ended on a highway overpass when deputies, a State Police trooper and a Slidell police officer opened fire on Lucien Rolland, striking him 18 times.

In October, Darien Greenwood was shot seven times by two deputies after he allegedly lunged at them with a knife and stabbed a police dog.

In both cases, the deputies involved were placed on administrative leave while the shooting was investigated. A sheriff’s spokeswoman refused to say whether the deputy involved in Saturday’s shooting has been placed on leave.

The St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office handled the investigations into how deputies handled each of the earlier incidents. Both were deemed justified, and the officers were returned to duty.

Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.