ST. JOHN PARISH, La. - A St. John Parish deputy has been placed on administrative leave after a shooting Thursday morning that left a 60-year-old woman dead.
The deputy, identified as Steven Daley, fired and struck 60-year-old Barbara Lassere of Boutte, after police said she fired at least one round at officers following a slow-speed chase.
Daley was put on administrative leave during the investigation of the shooting by State Police, which is typical procedure following an officer-involved shooting.
The incident occurred around 1:40 a.m. Thursday near Elm and West 5th and began, according to deputies, when officers attempted to stop Lassere due to a burned out headlight on her car.
Lassere stopped briefly, brandished a weapon and then fled in the vehicle, police said.
She led them on a slow speed chase to her home near West 2nd Street and River Road, according to police.
When she arrived at the back of her residence, deputies made contact with her while she was inside the vehicle and asked her to exit, police said.
Lassere fired at least one round toward deputies, and Daley, returned fire, striking her in the chest, police said. She was rushed to the hospital, where she later died.
"I’m depending right now that the investigation will show the officer acted justifiably.” said St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre. “I wish I could change everything that happened. I can’t change what happened.”
Lassere's family disputes the official version of events.
Her niece, Angela Moore, was asleep next door at the time of the incident and said she heard the gunfire.
"I was there, I heard four gunshots and that's it. I feel like it wasn't right for them to shoot her just like that, take her life. They took her life that God gave her," Moore said.
Lassere's sister also claimed that there were holes in the story given by officials.
"I ain't never seen my sister with no gun. She never did carry no gun. So, I said the police department is lying," said Dorothy Moore.
The investigation by state police is still in progress.