Louisiana State Police Did Not Discover Trooper Had Been Killed for Half a Day
Master Trooper Adam Gaubert of the Louisiana State Police was found dead in his car more than 12 hours after he was ambushed on Saturday, the authorities said.,
A Louisiana man was arrested over the weekend in a series of shootings that left two people dead, including a state trooper whose death was not discovered for more than 12 hours after he was shot, the authorities said.
Master Trooper Adam Gaubert of the Louisiana State Police was found dead in his police car around 5 p.m. Saturday in Ascension Parish, the State Police said at a news briefing on Monday. They said that Matthew Reese Mire, 31, had ambushed Trooper Gaubert, 47, sometime around 2:30 a.m., after the trooper had parked his car to fill out some paperwork.
“Losing a co-worker like Adam puts a hole in your heart,” Col. Lamar A. Davis, the superintendent of the State Police, said at the briefing. He said that it was “absolutely unacceptable” that it took so long for the police to discover that Trooper Gaubert, a 19-year agency veteran, had been fatally shot.
Colonel Davis said that the delay in discovering the killing had prompted the State Police to consider procedural changes, including “expanded GPS coverage, dormant activity alerts and redundant personnel tracking by supervisors.”
“We are learning from this experience,” he said.
Trooper Gaubert’s death, the police said, came in the middle of Mr. Mire’s shooting spree. First, around midnight, he shot two people in a mobile home park in Livingston Parish, the police said. The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said it believed Mr. Mire “was familiar with” the victims, who were expected to recover from their injuries.
Then, the State Police said, Mr. Mire stole a Chevrolet Silverado and ambushed Trooper Gaubert in Ascension Parish. It was unclear what time Trooper Gaubert was shot, the police said, but they noted that Mr. Mire was captured on surveillance footage around 2:30 a.m. as he drove toward the area where the trooper was parked.
The State Police had asked for radio silence on Saturday so that troopers could coordinate the search for Mr. Mire, who they said had run into a wooded area after his shooting rampage. Troopers ending their shift around 5 a.m. were asked not to sign off over the radio, which may have been why Trooper Gaubert’s silence did not raise questions.
He wasn’t discovered until someone reported that they had seen a driver who appeared unresponsive in a State Police car, the police said.
After he killed Trooper Gaubert, Mr. Mire forced his way into the home of Pamela Adair, 37, and Joseph Schexnayder, 43, around 3 a.m. and shot them, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Ms. Adair died at a hospital from her injuries on Saturday, while Mr. Schexnayder was in critical but stable condition.
It was unclear if Mr. Mire knew Mr. Schexnayder and Ms. Adair, who was a mother of three children, according to a fund-raiser page set up to cover her funeral costs.
Mr. Mire then drove off, and a state trooper who happened to be driving to another scene activated his emergency lights, the State Police said. Mr. Mire did not move out of the way, the police said, but instead fired at the trooper, who was not injured. The trooper chased him before Mr. Mire drove away and left his car to run into the woods. Mr. Mire opened fire as the authorities closed in on him, Sheriff Bobby Webre of Ascension Parish said at the news briefing.
“He didn’t come out. He ran all day long,” Sheriff Webre said at the news briefing. He said that the authorities were “able to flush him out.”
Mr. Mire was taken into custody around 10 p.m. Saturday, the authorities said. He sustained a bite from a police dog and a gunshot wound to his leg that may have been self-inflicted, the State Police said. He was taken to a medical facility for surgery.
He was charged with first-degree murder of a police officer and several other criminal counts, the police said. The motive for the shootings remained under investigation. It was unclear on Monday if Mr. Mire had a lawyer.
Colonel Davis, the State Police superintendent, was visibly emotional at a separate news briefing on Saturday night after the shooting. He said the day’s events were some of the toughest he had experienced in his career.
“It hurts, but we will get through it,” Colonel Davis said.
In a statement on Twitter on Sunday, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana said that he hoped to get a “clearer picture” of what happened on Saturday. The governor added that Trooper Gaubert had served the state “selflessly and courageously.”
“He represents the best of all us,” he said.
There have been 48 police officer deaths in the country so far this year that were connected to firearms, up from 38 during the same time period last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Claire Fahy contributed reporting.