Armed Robbery Suspect Shot Dead After Wounding 3 Officers

( – Police shot and killed an armed robbery suspect in Louisiana after he opened fire and injured three officers and two civilians. Matthew Lathers was wanted for armed robbery and attempted murder and was hiding out in a house in Jefferson Parish. When two vehicles pulled up outside, he shot at them, reportedly mistaking them for police. A SWAT team subsequently surrounded the house and deployed a robot to locate the suspect. When the robot became immobile, officers entered the property and were quickly ambushed by Lathers.

The exact details of what occurred next are unclear, but Sheriff’s deputies were next to arrive at the scene, and an hours-long standoff began.

At a subsequent press conference in Kenner, around 15 miles from New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said the deadly encounter unfolded when two innocent people pulled up outside the house and talked to each other from their cars. “He thought it was police and fired at them,” Lopinto continued. He described how the SWAT team called for backup after coming under fire, and when his officers responded, they attempted to negotiate with the suspect, but he did not acknowledge them.

After several hours, deputies gained a clear view of the suspect, and when he took his rifle and appeared ready to resume shooting, a Sheriff’s sniper opened fire and killed Lathers at the scene.

Subsequent updates confirmed that the two innocent bystanders had been released from the hospital. The unnamed 64-year-old and 44-year-old were driving in opposite directions but stopped to greet each other, unaware that an armed fugitive was observing them. The 44-year-old man sustained a gunshot to the abdomen, and the other suffered an injury to his arm. Both men sped away from the scene and called 911.

Lathers was accused of shooting a 56-year-old man three times and stealing his wallet and cell phone one week earlier.

Police Captain Michael Cunningham said the three injured officers had been released from hospital and would fully recover.

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