ST. JOHN PARISH, La. – Police found a suicide note at the home of a man arrested Tuesday at a disaster food stamp site in LaPlace, according to the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office. The man, who had a loaded assault rifle, was subdued by police and disarmed after becoming irate when his claimed was denied.
Mark Knight, 46, was initially charged with aggravated assault and terrorizing. He now faces an attempted second degree murder charge, according to Sheriff Mike Tregre.
Tregre said deputies searched Knight’s trailer on Johnny Court in LaPlace and found dozens of snakes – mostly boa constrictors – and a suicide note, leaving investigators to believe that Knight’s actions at the DSNAP center were premeditated, said Tregre.
According to State Police, Knight became angry when his claim was denied. He stormed back to his truck. Deputies followed Knight back to his car and apprehended him after noticing he had a full loaded AR-15 assault rifle, according to State Police said.
"Law enforcement personnel quickly responded and subdued the subject who was in possession of a fully loaded AR-15 assault rifle. Officers disarmed the subject and placed him under arrest," said a statement from Trooper Melissa Matey, a State Police spokesperson.
Matey said they also found another handgun and several loaded magazines. Tregre, however, wouldn’t say whether additional weapons were found at the trailer when it was searched.
Authorities are looking into Knight having possible connections to any extremist groups on the FBI watch list, including the Sovereign Citizens, a group possibly connected to the deadly shooting of two St. John deputies in late August.