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St. Charles Sheriff's deputy's son shoots gun outside Luling daycare center

Members of the community are wondering why the Deputy has not been disciplined for the incident.

ST. CHARLES PARISH, La. — The 9-year-old son of a St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s deputy shot a loaded weapon his dad left in a truck while it was parked outside a daycare last week in Luling, according to a police report and eyewitnesses.

Several witnesses tell WWL-TV that Sheriff’s Deputy Henry Sill left two children in his truck last Thursday afternoon when he went in to pick up another child at WEE Center daycare at First Baptist Church of Luling.

The witnesses said one of the children fired Sill’s weapon out the driver’s side window and into a daycare administrator’s parked car.

Luckily, nobody was hurt in the incident, but members of the community are wondering why Sill, who was off-duty when he left his loaded personal weapon unlocked in his personal truck with two young children, has not been disciplined by the Sheriff’s Office.

“There's no policy violation and there's really no law that was violated here,” Chief Deputy Rodney Madere Jr. said in an interview Tuesday. “I mean, we've looked at some to see, but to try to stretch something to fit is not really what we do as law enforcement.”

Madere said the Sheriff's Office declined to confirm that Sill was the deputy because it doesn't want to indirectly identify the minor involved in the shooting. Madere confirmed the other details of the case, however, which remains under investigation.

“He left his truck running and he got out of his truck and started walking to the door and he heard a pop,” Madere said. “He turned around. His two children were bailing out the car and the 9-year-old was saying, ‘I didn't mean to do it.’”

WWL-TV called a phone registered to Sill on Tuesday, but the person who answered hung up when this reporter identified himself. He did not respond to a follow-up text explaining what WWL-TV was planning to report and giving him a chance to comment.

Madere said the deputy whose gun was fired is remaining on full duty pending the investigation. Meanwhile, First Baptist Church and the WEE Center are taking action against Sill. They sent a letter to parents today saying they have decided the deputy "will no longer be allowed on the premises, except to meet with the pastor or to attend church functions." The letter says, “No firearms are allowed on the premises. The only exception is for on-duty police officers or those officers who are going to or coming from active duty. Even for officers, the individuals must be in uniform or wearing their police badge, and their firearms must be properly secured.”

The WEE Center posts a sign clearly on the door to the Education Center that says “WEE are a firearm, smoke and drug-free center.”

“I think that was the right thing to do,” said one parent of children at the daycare. “People are really upset about it, and they should be.”

An initial police report was filed Tuesday after WWL-TV filed a public records request. It says a deputy, whose name is blacked out, walked to the door to pick up a 2-year-old child at the Education Center and left a 9-year-old, a 5-year-old and his personal loaded weapon in the unlocked center console of his personal vehicle. The report says the weapon was holstered in the console.

Madere said the investigators are looking for surveillance videos and to speak with anyone else who saw what happened, but added, “We’re positive of what happened.”

Several parents and grandparents with children at the WEE Center, who did not want to be named because they feared repercussions of speaking about a current sheriff’s deputy, said they were concerned that the incident was being swept under the rug.

But First Baptist Church Pastor Cody Cunningham spoke to WWL-TV and said sheriff’s deputies have been by multiple times to get statements and the church is working with investigators to recover deleted surveillance video of the incident.

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