Slain St. John deputies – In the early morning hours of Aug. 15, two St. John the Baptist Parish deputies were killed and two were injured in a deadly ambush at a trailer park outside of LaPlace.
Deputy Jeremy Triche was killed just days before turning 28 and left behind a wife and a young son. Deputy Brandon Nielsen, 34, was gunned down as well in the trailer park, leaving behind a wife and five children.
The melee began as Deputy Michael Boyington was setting up an early morning traffic detail outside a parking lot when he was shot. Triche and Nielsen, who responded to the Riverview Mobile Home Park to find the suspect who shot Boyington, were interviewing two suspects when a third suspect ambushed them and fatally shot the deputies. A fourth deputy, Jason Triche, was also shot and injured at the trailer park.
The violence rocked the River Parishes. Choking back tears Sheriff Mike Tregre said, “I lost two good officers today,” as he named Jeremy Triche and Nielsen as the deceased deputies.
Seven suspects ended up being charged in the aftermath. Twenty-four-year old Brian Lyn Smith was charged with attempted first degree murder. His father, 44-year-old Terry Smith, his other son 22-year-old Derrick Smith, 28-year-old Kyle David Joekel and 21-year-old Teniecha Bright are facing principal to attempted first degree murder charges.
Later it was learned Terry Smith might have ties to the anti-government group Independent Citizens Movement. This would not be the only tragedy St. John would face in 2012 as Hurricane Isaac would heavily damage the parish later in the year.