Posted on July 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM
Tuesday, Jul 30 at 5:21 PM
Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl
COVINGTON, La. -- A shooting at a law firm, right across the street from the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center on S. Columbia Street, left one man dead and a community shaken up.
The Covington Police Department received a call around 1:15 p.m. about a man shooting several rounds into the Upton Law Firm.
"The law office at 816 South Columbia Street had been riddled, I mean literally riddled with bullets," said Interim Covington Police Chief Jack West. "There's one subject inside the building."
The St. Tammany Coroner's Office identifies the man as 47-year-old Roderick Rist, and says he appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
The evidence of the attack was scattered on the sidewalk and in the business' windows. But the details of what happened came from the only person inside the building at the time, lawyer Tim Upton's secretary.
“I had one employee there at the time," Upton told Eyewitness News. "I had gone home for lunch and the other was at a doctor's appointment. She went and hid in an adjacent room as he continued to shoot through the office. She watched his feet go toward my office while all kinds of stuff was flying the whole time."
He said she got out safely because, “She said she heard one last shot and everything went quiet. And he killed himself."
It's something Upton says has been an awakening.
"Doing criminal defense work, you meet some disturbed people, but I never imagined anything like this would ever happen. This is stuff you see on TV," he said.
Upton says the last time he worked with the man was eight months ago and there were no issues. Then, three days ago, he called the office asking for more legal help, with an agitated tone before showing up Tuesday.