BATON ROUGE, LA – Law Enforcement Today has learned that a man who shot at a sheriff’s deputy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana had been released from federal prison in January. Bernard Ledlow, 39, shot at an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy at around 7:30 Sunday morning.
WBRZ reported that a sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop Ledlow’s vehicle Sunday when the vehicle Ledlow was driving was operating erratically in the city. According to the sheriff’s office, the deputy believed that the operator may have been asleep at the wheel when he engaged him.
However, Ledlow had other things in mind. Instead of stopping, Ledlow engaged the deputy in pursuit. During the chase, Ledlow fired several shots at the pursuing deputy, with one shot taking out a window of the deputy’s patrol vehicle.
The deputy suffered a minor gunshot wound when the bullet grazed their leg. According to police, Ledlow was using a rifle to shoot at pursuing deputies. In addition, he shot at a deputy who was setting up spike strips as well.
About seven miles after the pursuit began, Ledlow crashed his car, then fled into the woods near the Amite River in East Baton Rouge. During the foot pursuit, Ledlow continued shooting at deputies, detectives said.
Sheriffs deputies then set up a perimeter in order to contain Ledlow, and evacuated homes in the area. A six-hour manhunt ensued and ended with Ledlow being killed by law enforcement officers. Authorities used search dogs, helicopters and marine craft along the river.
Sheriff Sid Gautreux said that he was glad that Ledlow was no longer a threat.
“We’re very relieved the suspect is no longer a threat to the people living there,” he said.
According to The Advocate, Ledlow had just completed a 17-year prison sentence for federal gun and drug infractions, according to local and federal authorities.
He had been arrested 13 times prior to his federal prison sentence and had been convicted of two felonies in Ascension Parish prior to his prison term. That case involved a felony armed robbery conviction, after Ledlow had held up a bar at gunpoint in 1999.
Earlier this year, authorities had warned agencies that Ledlow posed a threat not only to officers, but also to the general public, Gautreux said.
Ledlow was released on supervised home release.
The gun that he possessed was described as an “assault” rifle and noted that the SUV he was driving in the pursuit had been borrowed from a neighbor.
The name of the injured deputy was not released by the sheriff’s office. Gautreux noted that the shooting of Ledlow would be investigated by the sheriff’s office.
This is the second officer-involved shooting in Baton Rouge in the past few weeks, with a Baton Rouge police officer being fatally shot a few weeks ago.
In that April 26 incident, Ronnie DeWayne Kato Jr. was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He also faces the death penalty in the case, after prosecutors announced they would pursue those ends a few days after the shooting.
Flags at City-Parish buildings have been lowered to half-staff in honor of our Baton Rouge Police Officer killed in the line of duty yesterday. Please pray for all of the victims and their families from this weekends tragic events. #BRstrong pic.twitter.com/CDCvuWQWLg
— Sharon Weston Broome (@MayorBroome) April 27, 2020
KIRO-7 reported that in that shooting, veteran Baton Rouge officer Lt. Glenn Dale Hutto, 45 was killed and a second officer, Cpl. Derrick Maglone was critically injured in an ambush attack by Kato outside a home in the city’s Hopewell Park neighborhood. Hutto was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant, police said. Hutto was survived by his wife and four daughters.
The shooting occurred when Hutto and Maglone went to question Kato about a murder earlier that morning.
Police said that evidence at the scene of the shooting showed that Kato had stood over Lt. Hutto as he lay on the ground, and continued firing bullets into him, according to the Associated Press.
Officials have released a mugshot of Ronnie Kato, the man accused of killing a Baton Rouge police officer and a 58-year-old man.
— WAFB (@WAFB) April 27, 2020
Regarding the death penalty, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said that while his officer rarely seeks the death penalty, it was doing so in this case.
“My office rarely seeks the death penalty. We do so only in the most serious of cases,” Moore said, according to WAFB in Baton Rouge. “The fats as alleged in the affidavits and from information that I have learned are egregious.”
“As for me and my office, based on what I know now, I believe pursuing this matter as a death penalty case is what justice would demand,” Moore said.
Prior to assassinating Lt. Hutto, Kato had shot and killed Curtis Richardson, 58, a father of three.
Along with those @BRPD officers being shot, an innocent father of three was also killed.
Curtis Richardson, Sr. children spoke with me about his character and what they’ll miss most about their father. pic.twitter.com/v7yWdJZ6iI
— Jonah M. Gilmore, M.A. (@JonahMGilmore) April 28, 2020
Kato, 36, was charged with two counts of first degree murder, six counts of attempted first-degree murder, five counts of home invasion, and one count of aggravated battery, according to jail records obtained by the Associated Press.
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