Dakota Theriot, the Louisiana man authorities believe is responsible for killing his girlfriend, her father, brother, and his own parents, has been arrested in Virginia.
On Saturday, January 26, police say 21-year-old Theriot shot and killed his girlfriend, Summer Ernest, along with her father, Billy Ernest, and brother Tanner in their Livingston Parish home over what authorities called a “boyfriend [and] girlfriend type of dispute.”
In neighboring Gonzales, police found Theriot’s father, Keith Theriot, and his wife Elizabeth, also shot. Theriot’s father identified his son as the shooter before dying.
Theriot was living with Ernest’s family, but ABC is reporting that he’d recently been asked to leave. According to CNN, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre says this is one of the most horrific crimes he’s investigated:
“This is probably one of the worst domestic violence incidents I’ve seen in quite a while. For a young man to walk into a bedroom and kill his mother and his father, and then kill friends in Livingston that he had a connection with.”
Police were advised that Theriot had ties to Richmond County, Virginia, over 1,000 miles away. On Sunday morning, Theriot’s grandmother asked authorities to perform a safety check on her home because she was worried he might be headed for Virginia. Police were at the house when Theriot drove up with a gun pointed out the window of his vehicle. He dropped the gun on command and police arrested him.
He’s being held without bond and will be returned to Ascension Parish and booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons.
Domestic violence and gun violence are inextricably intertwined. According to Everytown Research, 52 percent of American women killed by guns are victims of intimate partners or family members. Their research also shows that 54 percent of mass shootings involving four or more victims are committed by intimate partners or family members. Women in abusive relationships are five times more likely to be murdered when their partners have access to firearms.